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Obama in Shanghai

Increasingly I want to take a sledgehammer to my laptop. It's following me, nagging me, pestering me, forcing me to pay attention to it when I really ought to be doing something healthier, like texting.

I know my laptop better than I know my own children. Yesterday I was down by the river in the morning, the four-day storm had broken, the air was sparkling, and I found myself alone in what could plausibly pass for wilderness but for the rusty camp grill and the old fire ring and the two picnic tables -- and the laptop. The aircard works out there. Communed with nature, fired off some emails.

Who among us has not sniffed around a woodsy park in search of an outlet?

You know you have it bad when you check for a socket in the port-a-john.

The other problem with the laptop is that it is a transfer medium for stupid punditry and irritating blog-squawking. I mean, I really don't want to read about Sarah Palin's book. She is destined to turn into Lou Dobbs, who is destined to turn into Sarah Palin. There is nothing there that interests me. Nor do I want to read any more about how Obama hates America. This meme is a staple of conservative blogitry. The president, we're told, has "antipathy" toward America. He's on an endless apology tour. His wife thinks America is "mean," and so on.

Obama is, indeed, trying to change and improve the relationship between the U.S. and other countries, and one of his tactics is to acknowledge that America has had dark chapters and hasn't been perfect in upholding its ideals. But to my ear his speeches still are resoundingly pro-American. Judge for yourself by reading the the transcript of his town hall meeting today with students in Shanghai:

China is an ancient nation, with a deeply rooted culture. The United States, by comparison, is a young nation, whose culture is determined by the many different immigrants who have come to our shores, and by the founding documents that guide our democracy.

Those documents put forward a simple vision of human affairs, and they enshrine several core principles -- that all men and women are created equal, and possess certain fundamental rights; that government should reflect the will of the people and respond to their wishes; that commerce should be open, information freely accessible; and that laws, and not simply men, should guarantee the administration of justice.

Of course, the story of our nation is not without its difficult chapters. In many ways -- over many years -- we have struggled to advance the promise of these principles to all of our people, and to forge a more perfect union. We fought a very painful civil war, and freed a portion of our population from slavery. It took time for women to be extended the right to vote, workers to win the right to organize, and for immigrants from different corners of the globe to be fully embraced. Even after they were freed, African Americans persevered through conditions that were separate and not equal, before winning full and equal rights.

None of this was easy. But we made progress because of our belief in those core principles, which have served as our compass through the darkest of storms. That is why Lincoln could stand up in the midst of civil war and declare it a struggle to see whether any nation, conceived in liberty, and "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" could long endure. That is why Dr. Martin Luther King could stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and ask that our nation live out the true meaning of its creed. That's why immigrants from China to Kenya could find a home on our shores; why opportunity is available to all who would work for it; and why someone like me, who less than 50 years ago would have had trouble voting in some parts of America, is now able to serve as its President.

And that is why America will always speak out for these core principles around the world. We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation, but we also don't believe that the principles that we stand for are unique to our nation. These freedoms of expression and worship -- of access to information and political participation -- we believe are universal rights. They should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities -- whether they are in the United States, China, or any nation. Indeed, it is that respect for universal rights that guides America's openness to other countries; our respect for different cultures; our commitment to international law; and our faith in the future.

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 16, 2009; 9:12 AM ET
 
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Comments

Amen. No quibbles here. Let the wing-nuttery begin.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

And just the right tone on the not-so-veiled reference to Tibet.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

That is a beautiful and powerful speech. Of course, there is the argument that all Obama's fancy talk is just a clever cover for his true nature. Which is someone who, you know, does horribly degrading things like bowing when in Japan.

Which leads me to my philosophy of notebooks. It's fine to take them with you. Just spend less time on Memeorandum and the like, and more time at places like McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 16, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Reposting before I read the kit.

A little music for the meteor show "Tonight"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihnsO-DZryA&feature=channel

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

At least when Obama visits Japan, he doesn't throw up on the prime minister.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach, Urban Survivor. Watch for the show next season on Discovery Channel.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 16, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I have mad urban survival skilz. I've recharged camera batteries using receptacles in museum gift shops.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Great kit, and I thought the speech very positive.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

And actually, the Front Page Alert is a blatant plea for "impassioned" page views, but anyway...

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the fine speech he made, which will earn him many points with the Chinese people, Obama was in a very uncomfortable position.

Thanks to Conservative dingbatonomics, the pewsident of the U.S. visited his Chinese banker as a broke debtor. He pulled off that trick very nicely.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | November 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It's unfair to demean Lou Dobbs by comparing him to Sarah Palin.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | November 16, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, I've never seen Dobbs and Palin together... Hmmmmm...

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Front Page tease for the kit is "Does Obama really hate America?" guaranteeing a run on bunker supplies.

And from the front page, Wilbon on Belichick:

http://views.washingtonpost.com/world-wide-wilbon/wilbon/2009/11/belichick_is_stung_by_his_arrogance.html?hpid=news-col-blog

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey, dmd, thanks for that West Side Story link. I didn't know they'd made a new cast album, but that link is quite good. We saw this group at the National Theater last December.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Love to take credit, but it was a fluke, noticed it on one of the related videos I was watching - but a nice fluke!

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

mudge,

I liked your comment on the Courtney Martin Next Great Pundit piece:

"Oh, go ahead and dehumanize all the Reopublicans you want to. I don't mind. Really.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 |"

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

That "Does Obama really hate America?" tease is just plain scurrilous, IMHO. The WaPo ought to be ashamed of itself. What's next? "Is Michelle a lesbian who strangles puppies?" "Did Biden serve in the SS during WWII?" "Princess Sparkle Pony: Pope's Pick for Sainthood?"

Jaysus.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Palin and Dobbs. The more I think about it, the more concerned I am about the ease in which people transition from punditry to politics and back. This bothers me because the two are fundamentally different in their ultimate goals.

Politicians are *supposed* to be all about serving the common good, while pundits are selling their views for money. One is public service, one is commerce.

So when someone who used to be in politics, like Palin, starts spouting off, it is important, I think, to recalibrate their motives. And when pundits, like Dobbs, might possibly consider public office, I wonder if they realize that their views should, ideally, now be less about getting attention and more about getting positive results.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 16, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

New rule: No media outlet should ever use as a tease a rhetorical question to which the answer is, "No, of course not, you morons." Call it the Mudge Rule.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The Next Great Pundits are live-blogging right now. Get your questions in.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/11/11/DI2009111112554.html

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Biden was the star graduate of the SS "we have ways to make you talk" program.

Posted by: engelmann | November 16, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You sir cannot have it both ways when attempting to blog or post about the United States President. Unfortunately, after reading your blog/article I would ask the question "Is Joel Achenbach Anti-American"? Who is he trying to get this message too? China? Trying to have it both ways is not considered good journalism. It is either you do or don't or you are in a fair medium, Period. Sitting by the river did absolutely nothing to clear your mind for a really good blog/article.Try inserting your compassion, fairness and lots of balance. Afterall, he is our President, whether we like it or not.

Posted by: catlitterpolitics1 | November 16, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Scotty sez: "Come to think of it, I've never seen Dobbs and Palin together... Hmmmmm..."

Oh, trust me, you will. When they are running mates.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

*snort*

Good one, engelmann.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 16, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Yello, I will now have nightmares because of your 11:17.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I am thrilled to have a president who is actually good with words. Literacy, what a concept!

And the speech is awesome.

Question for pundits: What Obama speech will rank up with Lincoln's best?

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Running on the Larouche ticket, yello?

Indeed, engelmann... *snort*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Who among us has not sniffed around a woodsy park in search of an outlet? "

Good porn title.

Posted by: jezebel3 | November 16, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

and so it begins.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Huffman is off my NGP list based on this snippet:

"If you want to know the dry, objective version of what happened, you can already get that on Fox News."

Really?!? Fox? Dry? Objective? Really?!? Then where would I go for the rabid, demagogical version?

///end Amy Poehler impersonation.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So, yello, which one of them will be on the *ahem* "top" of the ticket?

Just asking, is all.

Any more pumpkin stuff in the bunker? BTW, my houseguest (for whom I woke up wide awake at 4:00 this morning (yet didn't get out of bed for an hour) to get to Dulles in time (and I was still late) gave me a cookbook from Zambia. It is very, very cool, and has some terrific recipes for mice and caterpillars and locusts.

Yep, you're right, I'm gonna take a pass on those.

But we could leave them on the buffet table for some people (e.g., "catlitterpolitics" perhaps?) who haven't yet figured out that Joel, while certainly a thoughtful writer, is very much a humor writer. CLP -- it's supposed to be *funny* as well as thoughtful.

*putting chill pills on the buffet next to the Alka Selzer*

Posted by: -ftb- | November 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

You can gain a clearer insight into Obama's psyche by taking a closer look at Michelle. The characteristically angry, "Hate America", Michelle Obama experienced a Hollywood makeover for her DNC convention speech that beguiled the "willing dupes" in the electorate. You could almost see her gag when she had to recite Obama's handler's line about "loving her country." But, her previous well-publicized radical associations; and, her multiple attempts to trash our Nation, will betray her scripted persona. It was a foregone conclusion that the Obama handlers would have Michelle with a smile-cast to cover-up her normally angry countenance, and chain-locked to the teleprompter with their carefully scripted commentary so as to obscure the prospective 1st lady's deeply angry disposition towards America. What a tragic example for our children; what a disastrous blow to societal cohesion at home; what a disconcerting message to our friends and allies; and, what a comforting message to our fanatical opponents abroad; to see a woman who has expressed her beliefs that: "our souls are broken in this nation"; "blacks must join in solidarity to combat a white oppressor"; "America is a nation that was founded on crime and hatred"; "we're a country that is just downright mean."; "We're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents."; "America is guided by fear, and getting worse all the time."; and, laments that she will face, "further integration and/or assimilation into a white culture and social structure"; to have secured the White House itself as the platform for her hate-filled dictum. And, of note to practicing Christians in our society, is Michelle's pledge that: "Barack will be tireless in keeping legal the practice of partial birth abortions". All of this from a woman who has benefited enormously from affirmative actions which she conveniently neglected to mention in the convention speech! Along with her husband's long-term subversive associations, his immersion in seditious anti-American diatribe; and, his recent proclamation: "I don't want that (referring to America in its current form) for my little girls.", has indeed revealed the Obamas as the real-life Manchurian Couple; and, certainly explains Obama's proclamation: "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded as the military." The program that Obama has referred to is "Public Allies", of which Michelle was the Executive Director of the Chicago Chapter; and, which consists of government-funded reeducation camps where Amercan youth are brainwashed into thinking "America is a racist, oppressive place in need of social change." Greg Neubeck

Posted by: gneubeck | November 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Mudge, that the link in WaPo is misleading and inflammatory.

It's like those cheesy pseudo-science television shows that begin with the sonorous question "Could the Pyramids have Been Built by Space Aliens?" The implication is that "sure" is a reasonable response.

Of course, what's worse, when the WaPo makes links like that it encourages people to post who don't even bother reading the kit very closely.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 16, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

ftb,
That is what primaries are for. Or coups.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My dear Padouk, really. When was the last time that a politician went into the business as a matter of public service? Civil servants yes, pols no. Politics is about winning and, sadly, force.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I don;t see how this speech, a typical collection of good ideas in a wrapper of soaring oratory, does much to say how Obama feels about the US.

I don't think he hates it. But, I do believe that he has an abiding resentment of people who succeed and I believe that he wants to level the playing field in spite of individual effort, talent, initiative, and risk-taking. This attitude gets to the heart of the American dream.

I didn't vote for him becasue I have an abiding resentment for people who think that despite the 50% tax bracket, the charitable works, the stint of public service, the jobs created, the risks taken, and the next generations of leaders mentored, I still implicitly simply owe more back -- becasue I "can afford it."

Posted by: DOps | November 16, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Indeed, it is that respect for universal rights that guides America's openness to other countries; our respect for different cultures; our commitment to international law..."

Really? It gets so confusing. It wasn't that long ago the US was using its "respect for universal rights" as an excuse to invade Iraq in flagrant violation of international law.

Posted by: kevrobb | November 16, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Michelle really is scary! How do people like gneubeck sleep at night with her running around loose?

Posted by: bobsewell | November 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, Yoki, I did say *supposed*....

Now out for a nice walk.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 16, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Watched a bit of MSNBC this morning at 3:00 AM where Chuck Todd in Shanghai had done a little investigative looking and found very very few Chinese saw Obama's townhall broadcast. He checked an internet cafe with 45 terminals working and no one there knew anything about. He also claimed the Chinese government did nothing to announce it.

Posted by: bh72 | November 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse


Achenbach, you quote an excerpt from Obama's speech:

"The United States, by comparison, is a young nation, whose culture is determined by the many different immigrants who have come to our shores, and by the founding documents that guide our democracy.

Those documents put forward a simple vision of human affairs, and they enshrine several core principles -- that all men and women are created equal, and possess certain fundamental rights; that government should reflect the will of the people and respond to their wishes; that commerce should be open, information freely accessible; and that laws, and not simply men, should guarantee the administration of justice."

It would be nice if Obama practiced what he preaches.

"Words.......just words......."

Posted by: janet8 | November 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

gneubeck,
That big button on the right side of the keyboard? The 'Enter' key? Learn it, love it, use it.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

slyness, we all stocked up on soda crackers and flashlight batteries? I think it's gonna be a long day.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation, but we also don't believe that the principles that we stand for are unique to our nation. These freedoms of expression and worship -- of access to information and political participation -- we believe are universal rights."

So while he believes universal human rights exist he won't seek to make them available by pushing for government systems that make them possible. They are for the fortunate few born in the current democratic states.

What Obama misses is that America has been a force for good for more people than any other country on the planet. His focus is always on the negative. America the slave state. American apartheid. These were grievous sins but they aren't the whole story. What nation is without sin? Japan? Germany? France? China? Great Britain? Russia? Sudan? What race is without sin?

I think the next president should apologize to the American people for the way Obama has demonized America as the cause of all the worlds ills. Maybe we should try him in court for "Hate" Crimes. Everything he does to America is based on hate.

Posted by: maxtel1910 | November 16, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

mudge, the teaser on the front page looks like a pretty transparent bit of glenbeckery intended to drive up traffic to Joel's blog by inciting the wingnuts. Looks like it's working. I wonder what Joel thought when he saw it.

Posted by: rashomon | November 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Nothing beats W. Bush walking around holding hands with Osama Bin Laden. Whatever! LOL! Angertainment! Sputter! Outrage! Lies! Flag burning! Limbaugh! The glory of Rome! Feed them to the lions! Ragaholism! Joe the Nobel prize winning economist! Bulldozers! More guns! Cheap gas!

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Well, Obama in his speech, as excerpted by Joel, does mention Lincoln. I didn't realize that Obama was in China actually paying a visit to Lincoln--along with Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Grant, McKinley, Cleveland, Madison and Wilson.

http://www.marshu.com/articles/presidents-on-us-united-states-paper-bills-currency.php

Of course, Obama's playing nice. The INTEREST ALONE on our debt to China is $50 billion a year.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/11/16/obamas-leverage-in-china-negotiations-limited-by-massive-u-s-d/

And no, I've NEVER gone to a woodsy place in search of an outlet. It's a relief to step away from it for awhile.

And will Newsweek play tootsy-cutesy with Dobbs by putting him on its cover in running shorts? As Cokie Roberst commented this morning on an a.m. show, the photo's (from a photo shoot for a running mag is fair game), but the message is: "A chick in shorts."

Posted by: laloomis | November 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget the paper towels and TP, 'Mudge. I think we're gonna need 'em both...

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Perfect use of 'glennbeckery", rashomon. It should have two 'n's in it. That is unless his birth certificate says something different. Have we ever seen his?

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. If I can't properly use all caps, how should I expect anyone to get the point!

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

For an off topic diversion for the nautical buffs (Brag, mudge, shrikes, etc) an article in the SFGate of the University of Hawaii finding those advanced Japanese submarines the US Navy scuttled after WW2. The ones that could cruse the world without refueling and carried aircraft that could bomb New York. Includes a photo.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/11/12/national/a134154S88.DTL

Posted by: bh72 | November 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I suppose, in small doses, it's good for me to see posts like those today, since I don't normally go places that these people frequent, and it's informative for me to know that they exist and to recognize their extreme powers of reinterpretation. I honestly don't see how these words can be read as demonizing America, but apparently they can.

So, now that I've been educated, I think I'll follow RD's example and head out for a walk in the sun. And then I think I'll spend the rest of my boodling day in the bunker. The dose has been big enough.

By the way, nice kit, Joel. And good speech, Mr. President.

Posted by: -bia- | November 16, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Brag is eyeballing the bunker door, need to write a great opening scene, the door is an inspiration.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | November 16, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

On the off-chance that the new visitors may actually revisit to see what hornets they have stirred up...

@gneubeck: Gee, that's an awful lot of astoundingly incendiary quotations from Michelle Obama that you have there. I would have thought that they would really catch fire with the press -- at the very least, with the conservative pseudo-press. Yet, I don't recall even Fox trying to 'report' that stuff. I have this nagging feeling that the only place she said those things was in your imagination. But I could be wrong.

@catlitterpolitics: I cannot tell what the heck you are talking about.

@kevrobb: I think you must have skipped over part of the excerpt that Joel posted. The part in which Obama noted that our failure to consistently fulfill our ideals does not mean that we don't believe in them, it means we sometimes fall short but strive to do better. Look again, you'll find it. It's, like, every other word, pretty much.

@DOps: wait, so you're criticism is that Obama has a deep-seated hatred of people exactly like himself? People who have achieved social and financial success by virtue of hard work and perseverance? "Hard-working folks -- man, I just hate those b@stards!" I have yet to hear him say such a thing. He never comes to our basement get-togethers.

@janet8: You imply that President Obama has acted in a blatantly unconstitutional manner. At least he should have a good solid idea of what it means to be unconstitutional, what with being an actual Constitutional scholar who taught a law school class on the subject. Unlike (I hazard a guess) you.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"So while he believes universal human rights exist he won't seek to make them available by pushing for government systems that make them possible."

Um, yes, the prior administration was famous for "pushing" for new governmental systems that make universal human rights possible. Most of us call these "pushing" exercises "invasions."

Apparently, the only way to truly express your commitment to democratic ideals is through military conquest. Rudyard Kipling would have been proud.


CowTown

Posted by: jp1954 | November 16, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

bla ~ Obama's words can be read anyway you wish ~ that's what he does.

Now, for the words he was reading to the Chicoms ~ they weren't his ~ rather, those are the words his handlers wrote for him.

After a while this business of using a teleprompter for everything but "hmm, unh, huh, eh, huh" leads many of us to view his "tone" as dead and uncaring.

The Chicoms may not have noticed that since most of them will have referred to the "translation feed" rather than try parsing his lastest sachariney drivel with their book-based English.

Obviously we are long past the time when a guy can show up with Eisenhower's vocals, Woodrow Wilson's diction, and wow the wowsers!

It'd been better for Obama to take a strong stance against Chicom perfidy and crimes against humanity than to apologize for something like slavery where my 8 Great-Great Grandfather's poured out 4 full years of hard work to make disappear. After all, the Chicoms know we eliminated chattel slavery. They are not, after all, terminally stupid.

Posted by: muawiyah | November 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@maxtel1910: I congratulate you for your ability to read words. You need to upgrade to reading whole sentences and grasping coherent thoughts. What Obama was doing was making an argument on behalf of the US system of government and society, while forestalling the predictable attempt to denigrate the US on the basis of past misdeeds that we have disavowed and corrected. Our past as a nation with slavery will not go away, but it is our strength that we can say the abolition of slavery was a path we at last chose for ourselves as a nation. Furthermore, to overtly criticize China would be ineffective -- they would simply contrive to keep the speech from being seen at all. He managed a powerful criticism of the Chinese government, while putting it in terms that they cannot deny without first admitting why they perceive it as a criticism -- which would be tantamount to admitting it's the truth.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mudge, I stocked up when I went to Costco last week. We are good to go in all areas, including appropriate comestibles and beverages. Gotta love Costco's wine section!

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an successful author, lawyer and politican. Why would he have a reason to resent anybody?

Go get a psychology book and look up what "projection" means.

Oh, if white=successful, that's no longer true. Get with the rest of America, boys and girls.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

It's all about page views.

CowTown!

Posted by: seasea1 | November 16, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@muawiyah: You are right. *They* are not terminally stupid.

This persistent drumbeat about teleprompters and handlers, however, *is* terminally stupid. Every President since Reagan, at least, has used a teleprompter, because it looks better than reading it from paper. Are you really so foolish as to think that they have these things memorized, or extemporize a 40 minute speech on a delicate subject, laying out complex policy positions and principles? Amazing.

I would like to apologize for the misplaced "you're" in my 12:09. I started out writing "you're criticizing", which I then incompletely edited. I have sinned against grammar.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse


THe conservative mouth-offs don't

even believe it. They just scream the last thing some idiot neocon handed them.

They are so stupid they can't form a sentence of their own. Everyone knows.

By the way...the UN may soon be petitioned to declare Palestine a state of it's own...and Israel's presence in the West Bank, East Jeresulem, etc., will be illegal.

HOW THE WORLD WOULD CHEER!

Wouldn't that be nice? The neocons might put theirr attention there.

Posted by: whistling | November 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Great post except for bad idea of taking your computer into the great outdoors on one of the last nice days of fall. You computer needs its alone time too, you know. Really, leave it in the house. Lock the door. See whether your personal bandwidth for perceiving the outdoors suddenly increases exponentially. And then, oh happiness, the bliss of reunion when you return to it, your relationship refreshed by this brief interlude of "Joel time."

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | November 16, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Like the question "is Obama a US citizen", "does Obama hate America" is a question raised by the right wing extremists and does not deserved to be discussed.

Posted by: steviana | November 16, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm putting my foot down: you cannot have "Chicom Perfidy" as a boodle handle. Tears and hissy fits will not sway me.

Hey, Cows! Missed ya lots. Hope yer well.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course President Obama doesn't hate America. The people who believe this nonsense have immersed themselves in an ideology that admits no heratics. All those who do not ascribe to the true faith are cast out as servents of evil. That this is roaring drivel seems to be meaningless to them.

Posted by: kchses1 | November 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, I did the "Pundit" live Q&A. I give them all credit for their attempts. Still, Mr. A.'s now-famous line hangs in my mind: "bored me to within an eye-blink of a coma."
What's da Post to do now?

Posted by: MsJS | November 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing to me how hateful, angry, petty intolerant, unforgiving, and bigoted certain groups have become. The personal attacks against anyone who does not agree with their point of view is amazing. There was a time I beleived that intolerance was the purview of the religious right, but ther "secular left" is even worse. Because a person deems to have an opinion that runs counter to your own does not make them "wingnuts", "whackos," or less intelligent than those on the left. If somebody presents a point-of-view you disagree with, present facts that demonstrate that suport a logical conclusion that they are wrong. Insults only fan flames, and accomplish nothing but dividing us as a Nation. This is already happening (happened?). Conservative, liberal, or independent all want a clean, prosperous safe nation. Disagreements on what means best acheive these ends does not make one camp smarter, or more sane, than the other.

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Calvin Trillin writes about poutine in this weeks NewYorker.
http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2009-11-23&email-analytics=newsletter091123p068#folio=068

Posted by: bh72 | November 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

scc, week's

Posted by: bh72 | November 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Your lead in headline, "Does Obama Hate America", is questioning the wrong President.

Should be "Does GW Bush, Jr. hate America?" and the answer is a resounding affirmative.
He lied us into War, Wrecked the Environment, the economy, and blocked important medical research because of primitive religious misunderstandings.

Now that is HATE!!!

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 16, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The Newsweek cover is okay, but this shot of Ms. Palin promoting physical fitness is much hawter.

http://www.runnersworld.com/photo/sarahpalin/slide5.html

But nothing beats Obama on the cover of Washingtonian.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef011570377491970b-pi

Scrumptious. I'd kill for those abs. (Metaphorically, Secret Service lurkers. Please don't tap my phone.)

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The ideals of liberty professed by the founders of the US lacked credibility because of slavery. Samuel Johnson's famous comment puts it in a nutshell: "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?"

Much later, the rise of segregation in the South created the same sort of stink. Discrimination against immigrants from Asia didn't help, either.

At least the importation of British convicts and "indentured servants" faded away after the Revolution. I suspect that many, if not most, Americans with colonial ancestors don't realize that those ancestors were likely as not auctioned off upon arrival. Bernard Bailyn's "Voyagers to the West" covers the indenture issue.

So Obama's apologetic rhetoric makes a certain amount of sense. And he can, and did, point out that the Constitution (especially with its Reconstruction amendments) has almost always supported those who pushed for equal treatment under the law. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the US has been its consistent rejection of arbitrary power. No Revolutionary Vanguard, no "living under the loving care of the fatherly leader".

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

lufrank1 is correct.

The vast majority of patriotic Americans know that only the Republic Party of No and their Talibangelists hate America.

Oh, and you can find outlets in most of the bathrooms - use the shaver outlets or the outlet on the outside the maintenance staff uses.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 16, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Abyone looking for a pleasant diversionary read away from the chazzerai around here might turn to the always-literate Jonathon Yardley's review of the new biography of Grace Kelly, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/13/AR2009111301393.html?hpid=features1&hpv=national

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

See, for every twelve gneubecks we get one WillSeattle. It's a mighty low yield ratio, but the keepers are pretty good.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama’s visit to Asia triggered a whole series of very interesting columns and articles on the economies, trade and prospects of both countries. The O-man has a difficult agenda, and one he can’t bully his way through. He’s got to advocate for a substantial appreciation of the renminbi and convince the Chinese leaders it’s good for both countries (and the rest of the world). Imagine you are India, Brazil or Indonesia and your money has substantially appreciated against the US dollar and yet the renminbi is still pegged at this artificially low value against the greenback. They are not amused by this artificial lost of competitivity. But a low renminbi has been good to China up until now and nobody’s sure that the old men in Beijing receive the enlightened economic advice they need to get to be convinced that things have changed and that their monetary policy has to change too. We’ll see, not next month but in the next 4-5 years.

I went for a short walk (darn it’s colder than I expected!) There was a $5 dollars coupon from the bookstore that was burning my pocket and so I entered the local bookstore. I found a couple of books for boodlers.
For boko/boomslang, “Leafs AbomiNation: The dismayed fan's handbook to why the Leafs stink and how they can rise again.”
One clue why they stink was in Forbes last week: the Maple leafs are the richest hockey team in the NHL and the profits hovers around 45-50% of the revenues annually. Why spend good money on farm teams, professional scouts and good players when the fans showers money on the owners for watching cr@p??

“Frosbitten” the unauthorized biography by Kelley Armstrong was just out in hardcover. It seems to be about bc and his howling friends though. Wilbrodog may be involved. It’s a boodle smash-up of some sorts, I'm sure http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/aFrost.htm

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 16, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

And here is Grace Kelly on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/109031/saturday-night-live-rear-window

Soundtrack not safe for work unless you don't mind coworkers looking at you disgustedly.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, Joel, your headline is rather disingenuous, don't you think?? See how many others have made the point as well?

But you do get credit for taking on the stupid and/or mean-spirited who keep calling Obama an "America hater." Of course, there are those who have called Bush the same--it's just as stupid and mean-spirited when they do it. To think that EITHER Bush or Obama actually hates America is about as stupid as it gets. And to break the silence with such a pronouncement, even if done rhetorically, compounds the problem because the cure is worse than the disease. Of course, I guess it will usually be more emotionally satisfying to yell schoolyard taunts than engage in rational discourse. Too bad.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | November 16, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow... this is really cool... the demolition of the Drexel Shaft in Philly... video is HD.

You don't need sound, but make the screen full size and note how the sound waves hit the glass building moments after the shaft hits the ground...

http://consumerist.com/5405854/video-drexel-shaft-demolished-in-beautiful-slo+mo

Posted by: -TBG- | November 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel didn't write that disingenuous headline, post_reader_in_wv. Writers seldom if ever write their own heads. And even if they write their own suggested heads for inside-the-paper stuff, they NEVER write the front-page promo stuff.

Yup, it's awful. No, it's not Joel's fault. (Possibly he hasn't even seen it; don't know where he is today.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Perfect follow-up to the story of water on the moon. I guess ice won't be a problem.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33964571/ns/today-today_food_and_wine/

Posted by: rashomon | November 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Love the bird that flies through the picture at the end of the video TBG.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, rashomon -- I don't think I'd be drinking any scotch that came from something called the Nimrod Expedition. It'd be like excavating hors d'oeuvres from the wreck of the Doofus.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Now, now, Mudge. Nimrod, like Poindexter, has not always been synonymous with mental haziness or a divorce from reality. Biblically, Nimrod was the first Mighty Hunter. The text of the Torah can be interpreted to suggest that Nimrod was the king who ordered the construction of the Tower of Babel, although his name on the work order is not explicitly stated. And we know how well that turned out.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Shuttle Atlantis just launched a minute ago, appears all OK. Live coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2005/04/12/VI2005041201139.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't blame me for how that damn tower turned out, SciTim. I had nothing to do with the design and construction. I only edited the press releases and some of the promo stuff. And to paraphrase a well known political comeback, "I knew Nimrod, Nimrod was a friend of mine, and frankly, SciTim, you're no Nimrod." (That's a good thing, see? I hope it came out that way.)

And no, in reality, King Nimrod wasn't really much of a mighty hunter. What he was, was a guy who pointed his finger at people and said, "You, you, and you, Mudge, you guys go kill that sabertooth tiger for me, will ya? I just did my nails."

"Nimmy," I said to him one day (I always called him Nimmy), "I understand your desire to have lots and lots of the world's languages represented here, but I think it's getting out of hand. I'm only one lowly scribe/copy editor, and a lot of these documents are just not legible."

"Don't worry, Mudge, "he sez, "fgprlp hgwe, wjuomphrfl dol lquadfmst."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So the fish kept falling out of your ear, 'Mudge?

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The President who hates America is the one whose administration lied about weapons of mass destruction, subverted the Constitution, wrecked the economy, authorized torture, leaked the identity of a clandestine CIA employee, stifled legitimate genetic research, ignored the environment, spent 40 percent of his first eight months on vacation and failed to act on the national security briefing entitled, "bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

His name is George W. Bush.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | November 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, the meaning of "hgwe" is open to some debate. Some sources seem to indicate that rather than "fish," it actually referred to a type of newt.

Posted by: rashomon | November 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Zackly. I had a cod in de head but managed to shake it off with some chicken soup and lots of rest and fluids.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

rashomon is somewhat correct, in that the later translation of "hgwe" was indeed "newt," but through the process of metathesis, about which I babbled the other day, the earlier spelling was "gwhe," which was what we called the kind of fluke-like fish you now call a turbot. The metathesis was caused by the cashier at the fish monger's booth in the market, who had something of a speech impediment. So I suppose you can blame the confusion of the two terms on the turbot-charger, which was just a fluke.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's another distraction: my favorite quote from last week's 30 Rock; a flashback of a football movie made by the new TGS cast member, who is Canadian...

“Alright hosers: I want all 12 of us fighting for every metre on all three downs. And we’re gonna make this a Boxing Day the Prime Minister will never forget.”

Posted by: -TBG- | November 16, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The only people who never admit mistakes are fanatics and sociopaths.

Posted by: js_edit | November 16, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

...and here's your afternoon tune cootie, a great performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYr60DVzehg&feature=channel

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

RE: SilverSpring8,

Do you understand the difference between a lie and a mistake. Is there one scintilla of real evidence, outside of rhtorical speculation (no matter how well accepted). Do you not think he would have been indicted if there was ANY evidence that he willfully lied about WMDs. Further, Saddam admitted, after his capture, to misleading about WMDs to the West in order to deter attacks from Iran. Absent any evidence of willful lies, are you not violating the tenet of innocent until proven guilty. As for stifling genetic research, he prevented the use of Federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, which is something a large portion of the population wanted, not only you have a ligitimate voice. The Valerie Plame incident also did not lead to any actionable evidence that President Bush knowkingly committed any improper act. Further, he refused to pardon those responsible. As for the environment: what has the currentr administration accomplished accept for lip service. President Obama may say he is willing, but we will see if he is able.
As for the economy: please explain what action President Bush took, without the aid of the Democratic Congress, that caused the economy to tailspin?
Finally, the rhetoric about subverting the Constitution. You do understand that there is a balance between liberty and national security under the Constitution. For example, John Adams wrote the Alien and Sedition Act that would have punished free speech and foreigners; Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus during the Civil War; Roosevelt took the Property of American citizens of Japanese heritage, and intererred them in camps, as well as illegally intercepted personal wires and telegrams; Truman threatened to seize steel mills if they went on strike during the Korean conflict. Given the history, President Bush's administration acted pretty restrained given the public outcry. His administration interecepted foreign communications from persons of interest when expediecy required for national security. Can you name one right YOU had on January 19, 2001 that you don't have today.
I recommend you look to history books and facts, rather than Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Bill Mahr for political opinions to parrot.

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge what have you done, I will now be lost in Van Morrison videos for a few hours - not that that is a bad thing.

Beats reading creative interpretations of Joels kit and Obama's speech.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I am a conservative like 40% of the American people. I do not believe Obama hates the US, I believe he wants to change the US in his image simply because he has no sense of what average/ the majority of Americans are and how they think of themselves, their history and their nation. His desire to do so does show some disdain for democracy though (majority rule with minority rights).

He has extraordinary talents and was able to manipulate/convince many well intentioned citizens to give him a chance. But as the months go by so many are realizing that he is just another self absorbed power seeking ideological politician who clearly cares more about passing a bill than being with the soldiers and families at Fort Hood, for example. The independents who elected him have already changed their views from Gallup polls.

His speach in China was very good - but will have no more long term effect than all his campaign promises of transparency.

Posted by: sally62 | November 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Back at you Mudge (see what you have done :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQMJxLxf7MI

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Tower of Babel, Tower of Babel -- is that anything like the Stanley Cup?

Whaddya think, Yoki?

Nah, didn't think so.

And, on another note (or not, as the case may be), apparently there are certain people who are *outraged* that Obama bowed to the Emperor of Japan. I guess that beats kissing the King of Saudi Arabia (Cheney? Bush?), but I may be, well, wrong, as it's all in the, *ahem*, "context".

Time to listen to Frank Sinatra again, methinks. Spin that one around for me, Mudge, will ya?

Posted by: -ftb- | November 16, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

hsroth1, I agree with your criticism of some of the overheated rhetoric slung Bush's way. I am not clear on how Bush had to deal with a Democratic Congress, as you claim, when both houses were majority-Republican for the first 6 years of his term of office. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that the determination of WMD's led the cherry-picking of evidence; evidence did not lead to a determination of WMD's. It may not have been lying, but it was a willful misconstruing of evidence.

I am not clear on how much you expect Obama to do, inside of his first year in office, to clear up the environmental problems that took two centuries to create. I expect progress within his first term; I don't expect a miracle.

The Alien and Sedition Act is oft-cited as a gross political failure of nerve in the early US. I don't think I would claim it as a reasonable example of a balance between liberty and national security. The suspension of Habeus Corpus during the Civil War also is deeply troubling, as are many things done during WWII. The whole point is to become more restrained and more confident. To say "at least we weren't THAT bad" is a weak standard.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a clever rhetorician, and he has sway over a lot of people by saying what he thinks they want to hear. In fact,he is an empty suit. Does this mean that he hates America? The jury is out here, but let's regress a minute? He claims that he sat in Rev. Wright's church for 20 years, and never heard him say anything anti-American. This is an out and out lie, and Wright had to have some influence over Obama, otherwisw he would have left the church. His wife's college thesis was about Afican Americans always being on the outside looking in, yet she received an Ivy League education, and did very well in white corporate America. She went on to say that she was never proud of being an American until her husband was nominated. Obama continues to make apology tours throughtout the world, and this is an indictment against him, and raises even more suspician that yes, Obama and those around him are anti-American.

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | November 16, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The bunker seems a very good place to be this afternoon. Scary out there.

Yello, about one minute into that Grace Kelly sketch on SNL is when we turned off the TV. Bathroom humor has never appealed to me and the older I get, the less tolerance I have for even a bit of it. I should really just give up watching SNL - if there are good clips from it they show up on the Internet within a day anyway.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 16, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Listen, I'm probably to the right of most on the boodle (if it were the visible light spectrum, I'd probably be a deep orange-red), but I just don't get the "Obama hates America" meme among the Crazy Right.

Is it reasonable to say that you find his foreign policy diagreeable? Maybe, although it seems to me that foreign policy would be the least objectionable area to a right-winger. It's actually changed very little from the Bush era. I'm sure the Crazy Left isn't going to be too happy when he puts twenty or thirty thousand more troops into Afghanistan.

Is it reasonable to say that you don't agree with his fiscal policy? Probably prospectively, but, again, it's not that different from Bush. Bush initiated the unparalleled deficit spending. Bush started the unchecked "stimulus" spending. I don't think that Obama targeted his stimulus very well, but I don't for a second believe that the Republican porksters would have done anything meaningfully different (and they always have their hands out as much as any Dems). They may have tinkered around the edges, but no one has the political will or support to do anything radical--especially when $1 trillion is at stake. I think that they should have paid for health care reform more assuredly, but didn't the Bushies add the enormous, ridiculous prescription drug entitlement? Don't all Repubs now pledge to support Medicare funding?

Is it reasonable to say that you don't agree with his social policies? I guess, but what specifics would you point to? Don't Ask Don't Tell is still in place. I don't think there have been any major changes to the support of religious organizations who provide social services. I'm not aware that abortion law has changed dramatically. Immigration law hasn't changed.

I can understand, at the margins, where people might not hugely satisfied with Obama. Especially if they are projecting what he might do in the future (although how could you really believe he can get consensus for anything too radical?). But where on this green earth can one rationally look at what he's done or said and come up with "Obama hates America"?

In the end, I guess it all boils down to this: Don't forget how dumb the average American is; and then remember that half of them are dumber still.

Posted by: Awal | November 16, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of both Van Morrison (I really do love that performance) AND the Tower of babel, I have taken the trouble to transcribe the lyrics to "Caravan," which are occasionally a little hard to understand (Morrison is no Bob Dylan, after all), and so here they are, the lyrics to "Caravan." Feel free to sing along:

And the caravan is on it's way
Ah cah hah dah gypsy play
Hama Hama looka Hama row
Sha paya idda radio
La, la, la, la...

Yada cadava da ada way
Damen eva boda stain overnigh
Yada bafuh gypsy boya randa chimpanzee bay
Anna Moffa taya uffa way
Singa
La, la, la, la...

Turn up your radio
And Letterman, Letterman, Letterman hah the suuuuuuuuhhhhh
Switch on your electric light
Now we can get down wuz really wrong
Ahhhhh ooohhh yoooo ah mah arms
So aken fee ohhh eye
Sweet lady of the night
Assa revee ah, esso woe
Turn it up, turn it up, look behigh, radio
Turn it up, that's enough, so you know 's’got so
La, la, la, la...
Oh baby
Turn up your radio
And Letterman, Letterman, Letterman, hada soooo
Switch on your electric light
Sowagawhadowa really wrong, really wrong, really wrong, really wrong, really wrong
Ahhhhh ooohhh yoooo ah mah arms
So aken, aken fee you up
Swee layyyyeeee otha eye
Assa revee yah, effteh woe
Turn it up! Turn it up! Lil behind, radio
Turn it! Thass enough!
Soya know, soya know, now, it's gah so
Soya know soya know it's gah soul so baby
Soya know soya know it's gah, yeah
Sibba dubba dibba bubba, sibba dubba bah,
Soya know it’s got soyah
Soya know it’s got sodommah so
Turn it up now, yea, yea, yeah,
Chudda wah mah tah
Tadda wah mah tah!
Soya know! Ih gah nuh
To the one mo tah!
To the one mo tah! Wahhh!
To the one mo tah!
To the…
To the one mo tah!


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Snort

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

hsroth1,
Like gneubeck, it's good that you guys have finally figured out how to turn off the CAPS LOCK key, but now it's time to figure out the key on the other far end of that row. They are called paragraphs and they are very useful things.

Your whole rant is exactly a repeat of Obama's speech. All those events were things in our history we aren't very proud of anymore. We as American's do very stupid things and then take our time (how long did Japanese-American wait for the 'our bad'?) correcting them, vowing 'Never again'. We are in one of those boneheaded fixing things phases right now.

Obama wouldn't have to be half as self-effacing and conciliatory if there weren't so many things to be sorry about.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

mudge,
That sounds just like every Celtic folk band I've ever heard. You can almost hear the bagpipe wheezing in the background.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember if someone already linked to this, but since "incendiary" seems to be the theme of the day, here are some fun explosions collected by the Telegraph UK (which I found by way of SciTechDaily):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6454550/15-most-explosive-videos-on-the-internet.html

Posted by: bobsewell | November 16, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

On the political color spectrum I used to be a deep infrared, but I've Doppler shifted to bright goldenrod edging towards a chartreuse. Unfortunately, the party I am nominally affiliate with is currently a falu, if not a maroon (as in 'What a...).

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Never heard of Colin James before, dmd, but I like that version.

And this is for ftb. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNeU711XXKg

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks,
I don't blame you. I'd have done the same if I had still been awake at that hour. I ran across the clip as an example of how bad that episode was.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Ooops. Didn't realize it may not be safe for work (visually); the audio is OK.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Someone may have linked to these neat murals before . . .

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1187338/Off-wall-The-astonishing-3D-murals-painted-sides-buildings-trompe-loeil-artist.html

Posted by: nellie4 | November 16, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Um (*gasp*) thanks, Mudge. I don't have HBO -- geez! What have I been missing, eh? Goodness gracious!

Posted by: -ftb- | November 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge You had me going back to the immortal Ken Lee, Tulibu dibu dachoo on Bulgarian Idol with your Caravan song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEbV5M59Xc8&feature=related

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, Colin James is a Canadian secret we really need to share with the world, very talented guitarist, that plays rock, blues, rockabililly and swing.

This is just cool Colin James and Willie Dixon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTRQcl4SO8k

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Little known fact, shriek: Valentina learned to speak that Gaelic dialect from Van Morrison.

But I think I've always liked the original (Korean? Japanese?) version of "Ken Lee, Tulibu Dibu Dachoo," but i couldn't find it on the intertubes.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Nellie, those are pretty cool indeed! Here's John Pugh's website, with more pictures of his projects:
http://www.illusion-art.com/

Eric Grohe does some fun stuff, too. Not really trompe l'oeil, but pretty neat:
http://www.ericgrohemurals.com/projects.html

Posted by: bobsewell | November 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

nellie,

Those walls are outstanding. If I ever get to Los Gatos again (and it's not looking good right now), I will have to hunt that top one down.

In the lowest level of the Smithsonian Ripley Gallery/International Center is a very nice trompe l'oeil along the far back wall.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This one's nice, in a Road Runner -v- Wile E. Coyote kinda way:

http://roadsidenut.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/blog84.jpg

Posted by: bobsewell | November 16, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Very cool, very clever vid with James and Willie Dixon, dmd. Thanks. And James mentioning Muddy Waters and Howling et al led me to Etta James...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVI254QGSQ4

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 16, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

And then there is the sidewalk art,

http://o.pticalillusions.com/sidewalk-art/

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking for a laptop that will run on methane fumes, for after Obama destroys America and the sewers all back up.

But in complete fairness to his predecessor in office, ol' AWOL was thinking about invading Iraq long before 9/11 - real forward looking, he was. And he confessed to his first biographer that he thought a nice little war, with him as commander-in-chief, would boost his political capital. He'd win on his domestic agenda, bring light, democracy, air conditioning, and Twinkies to the Middle East, and go down in history as a great president. And that's a d@mn fine ambition for a former college cheerleader!

Sarah Palin, she's got the background and stuff to follow that act. Biblically speaking, she's Queen Nimrod - but she doesn't need to pass around orders, no - she's as good as any old Tower of Babel all by herself!

Posted by: j2hess | November 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Great cover of Etta James (and I loved the link), Seven Day Fool. Another Canadian artist - this always makes me smile when I listen to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSlUe-bSEMg&feature=related

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Today's one of those days when you wonder if irony is still dead.

I'm a huge Obama supporter, but I note that the ones who hate him make the same assumptions: that I am hypnotized, that I worship him like a rock star, I seek a messiah, that I have been CARRIED AWAY.

This is insulting to me as a man. It's the type of insult which Hemingway finally learned to walk away from, because of who it is usually delivered by. Besides, I'm an independent unaffiliated voter.

I know a lot of pros and cons of voting for Obama. And he still deserves my support.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Awal, that's why we love you.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 16, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Loved the Van Morrison Mudge. You know, they just don't make lyrics like that anymore. ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | November 16, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Unlucky croc. Or the hippo wanted a new croc bag and matched shoes.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6918747.ece

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 16, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

This will be controversial, but welcome news to me:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111602822.html?hpid=topnews

(I almost always have to have follow up exams which turn out to be negative, thank goodness.)

Posted by: seasea1 | November 16, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is looking for real controversy or actual wing nuts supporting untenable positions, I dare you to venture on to ESPN or your nearest neighborhood sports blog to view the discussions regarding Bill Belichek's decision to "go for it" on 4th down deep in his own territory last night (it ultimately cost New England the game).

It makes O'Reilly vs. Olbermann look positively tepid.

And by the way, I was at a children's book store this weekend and saw that Beck has a new, kids' Christmas book out:

"Merry Christmas Junior, I was going to get you that iPod, but instead I got you a Christmas book by Glen Beck." Sometimes the jokes are nice enough to write themselves.

Posted by: Awal | November 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jumper, the alternative is to acknowledge that Obama has rational arguments based on evidence -- he may or may not be correct, but he is rational and it is possible that if you lose an argument with him, then you would have to lose your Republican-fundamentalist identity and become an Obamanaut. It is much more straightforward to claim a profoundly deep insight into the man's soul that makes a neat end-run around obfuscatory discussion. If he is really insidiously evil, then any good works that he may do are simply a cover for accomplishing evil. I guess the assumption is that Obama actually is smarter -- MUCH smarter -- than the average person and certainly smarter than the average Republican, so that he can bewilder you with his dense web of lies, leading you along the easy downhill path to ruin. And that, of course, sounds a lot like... oh, I don't know who ... somebody familiar ... maybe ...


SATAN?

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting kit and boodle. I love Open Houses...so many new faces, and a few who hardly ever stop by.

Yoki, your 11:30 ish. I've seen it happen. Maybe it's different where you are, but it does happen here. I've seen it with my very own eyeballs.

hsroth, what GW Bush did to facilitate our economic downward spiral was first, he goofed with the tax laws, which got the maelstrom spinning. Then he tinkered with SEC rules on how debt was carried (the dems were specifically left out of the CFMA bill reconciliation process). Fannie Mae began to wobble, looking like it was going to fall into the tank, so they changed the rules back. Too late: no one was paying attention (see CFMA above) as AIG climbed the ladder to the high dive. Next thing you know, AIG, Lehman and Merrill were all in the tank. Yeah, the short version, but you get the idea.

It's been a wonderful day here. Off to spend a few dollars before watching tonight's game. Have a happy night all.

Posted by: LostInThought | November 16, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

What Obama failed to do in his statement about men and women being created equal was to finish that statement by saying men and women were created equal UNDER GOD.

He could have really demonstrated the difference between the U.S. and China by properly finishing that statement. China also believes men and women are created equal, equal under the STATE. That is a major difference. But then Obama doesn't believe in the supremacy of God he believes like China that the STATE knows best and we are all supplicants to the state.

Posted by: kthhken | November 16, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Huh?

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

RE: ScienceTim,

Consider the possibility that "willful misconstruction," in the years immediately following 9/11 was the result of methodology of intelligence analyst. That given one or two sets of data (one British/one Russian) allowing for a broad interpretation in either direction with regard to WMDs, it was default mode to err on the side of the worst case scenario. As president - a politician - is it not reasonable to act in what you believe is the best long term interest of the national security. Opposing political interest can surely spin this in malicious ways, particularly in a ever-hungry 24-hour news cycle. I can't say for sure, but my years in Government have taught me that that simplest explanation is usually the right one.
As for what Obama can do to bring about his agenda, it is likely that he is learning that past administrations could not perform miracles because our system is designed to be slow and deliberate, and those same principles apply to him, no matter how much he would like to think differently. Only time will tell, but President Obama is finding he is subject to the same restricitve system of all that preceded him.
The remainder of my post is simply to illustrate that Bush did not subvert the Constitution (another view spun by opposition that have no support in fact) when viewed against past actions. Remember, the Supreme Court held that the internment of the Japanese was constititional. Had Bush suspended habeas corpus, interred Muslims, and summarily executed "enemy combatants" in places like Guantanamo without exceeding the precedence of past Republican and Democratic administrations. BTW, it is refreshing not to see personal attacks

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

kthhken, seeing that you are a mind reader, would you give me the next Powerball numbers please. Good grief!!

Posted by: badsneakers | November 16, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, J.A. This column is a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: commonprose | November 16, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

RE: yellojkt,
Way to miss the point!! Your smug lesson paragraph spacing is great though, very germain to the debate.

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

hsroth1, I am enjoying your reasoned posts very much. It is far too easy to speak only to to those with whom agree right down the line, and I am delighted by your fresh perspective.

Political-type kits are hard for outsiders to comment upon; so I'll resort to my usual goofiness (sorry Joel, I'd like to say something insightfully relevant just so you know that we do pay attention to what you write).

My current musical obsession:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EtkuHzBVFM

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

SCC: typos, errors of grammar, clumsy prose, punctuation mistakes... Mea culpa.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Like that a lot as well Yoki.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments by Obama in Shanghai probably sound noble to anyone lacking critical thinking skills. Obama does not even subscribe to some of the ideas he expounded in his speech. By opposing gay marriage and gays being in the military, he does not seem to think everyone should be treated equal.

Unfortunately Obama does not uphold the rule of law, which includes investigating, prosecuting officials who violate serious laws. By refusing to investigate, prosecute any official, regardless of position, in the previous administration for war crimes, violation of law, torture, etc., Obama is not upholding the rule of law and has no credibility hectoring to other nations.
His administration will seek to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, thus, in effect, declaring the immigration laws of this country need not be obeyed.

Obama, in saying "opportunity is available to all who would work for it" in this country is showing insensitivity to the millions of people in this country who want to work, but are unemployed. He is, even if inadvertently, suggesting the unemployed do not want to work. He said this country does not seek to impose its political system upon other nations, yet this is what the Bush-Obama administrations have tried,using force, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | November 16, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Does Obama hate America? Absolutely! At the very least, Obama hates what America has represented from the time of our independence from the British to when he took office.

Posted by: liberalsareblind | November 16, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. "

Michelle believes that the country was shameful before her family came to rescue it from it's depravity.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 16, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

March 4, 2009:

"In recent days, the Associated Press reports, President Obama has begun mapping out a strategy to allow military men and women to step outside the closet if they so choose. Exactly how he plans to go about getting that done is still a mystery, but he has instructed his top military brass to come up with a way to axe the don’t-ask-don’t-tell law. "

The process hasn't been overnight, because the military is a bureaucracy. The red tape has to be rewritten at multiple levels, and additional provisions included to protect openly gay military members.

I agree with you it's frustrating that the ban hasn't been lifted already. But hopefully a longer process means that the next president, right wing nut or not, cannot overturn this decision once again.

Thank you for raising this important point of frustration. I'm not entirely clear on what's happening myself.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Pkhenry, have you ever read an American history textbook? I mean the real stuff, not the happy drivel they shovel.

You can be proud and ashamed at the same time. America is a complex country with dark pasts and bright futures.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, historical precedent: when Ike ordered the armed forces to be integrated, the process took five years.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-12056.html/

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

hsroth,

I'm glad you found my composition tips helpful. If one wants people to take oneself seriously, it always best to present one's opinions in the most accessible format possible. People who write in all caps, like letters to the editor written in crayon have a hard time getting taken seriously. The same goes for run-on sentences and humongous blocks of unbroken text.

For example, your 6:10 is far more coherent than your 3:11. Double spacing would be even more considerate to those you hope to rationally convince.

That said, I will try to be germaine. The Supreme Court also once held that slavery was legal in all states regardless of the laws of that state. That the Supreme Court allowed the internment of U.S. citizens for no reason other than their national origin is a stain on our conscience. If you anywhere left of Michelle Malkin (who as a Filipino-American seems to be nursing some old ethnic grudges while frequently claiming to be the subject of racism herself), you would think so as well.

And summary executions given the arbitrariness with which we were imprisoning people strikes me as a very, very bad idea. As it is the extreme practice of 'extraordinary rendition' (read kidnapping) as practiced discretely by both Republicans and Democrats in the past was so abused by Dubya and his misguided chickenhawks as to be rendered impractical for future administrations. Nice going.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, the Michelle haters emerge again. Did you know that, gasp, she has like 50 times the staff of Laura Bush and personally spends more on handlers than Imelda Marcos? It muuuust be true. I read it on a robo email. Doofuses. Do they think they will build something to work on when all they seem capable of piling up is pure fertilizer?

Posted by: steveboyington | November 16, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

/Germane/, not germaine, or germain, or german, or germing, or gerrymandering, or any other mis-spellings yet to emerge.

Sorry. I had to say that. Boy, it felt good.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, steveboyington! You haven't been here in a long time. Nice to see you.

Imagine... a beautiful, accomplished, intelligent, educated African-American woman. To all appearances in a good (but not perfect, as she is the first to acknowledge) marriage and a fine mother and wife and daughter to boot. How threatening.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Awal, howdy again. To others, including today's drive-by people. Try the A-blog for a week. Leftish but centrist here, really. But also civil and interesting. Articulate your views. People will listen and respect you.

And, we are funny and eclectic.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 16, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

A real snarkfest over at the TV blog...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tvblog/2009/11/palin-goes-rogue-on-oprah-we-w.html

May I say I'm very glad she watches so I don't have to?

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 16, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Remember The Germane!
Jackie, Tito, Michael, Marlon and Germane
The Philly Germane Line
Germane Potato Salad
"What germane, little girl, what germane?" (apologies to Leonard Skinnerd)

There, think I've got it.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Again, you miss the point. The point is that the Constitution has allowed for some pretty extreme leeway where the Executive's decisions vis-a-vis national security are concerned. In that context, if GW Bush wanted, he could have gone a lot further without "subverting" the constitution. As far as renditions, discretion was practiced by the administration until stories of the practice were published by the media, and became the subject of a lawsuit by the ACLU. Based on your comments, I m guessing you are somehow steeped in academics. If that is the case, I recommend that you take to heart my earlier comment that all Americans want a safe, clean, prosperous country, including President Obama (going to the subject of this blog). We may disagree as to the means of achieving this goal, but one thing is for sure: name calling and ad hominen attacksserve only to divide, and solve nothing

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Why am I pining for the return of Flight of the Conchord?

Posted by: rickoshea1 | November 16, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

'Cause Murray is a *hoot* and Mel is creepy but sweet?

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

but i'll be going to jail for not buying health insurance and the government can take my property and give it to wal-mart to raise tax base because of the liberty that obama and dems have in mind. screw that. out with the m all in 2010-2012.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | November 16, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, pleeeese.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not very far into the live blogging of Oprah's Palin interview and already have a favorite part...

"Palin says she thought the skeleton in her closet was the fact she had gotten a D on a college course. Really? Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be her daughter, Bristol's pregnancy."

Posted by: -TBG- | November 16, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, is your tongue as sore as mine from biting it all day?

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Sore, swollen, there may even have been a little bleeding.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Mel is my idol. I wish I could be as cool and with it as she is.

But I have potentially bad news about a possible third season.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=8986461

But at least it's better than pining for the fjords.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's my Palin-Oprah Moment:

///I'm obviously a lover of books and magazines and newspapers," Palin says. By the time she was asked the questions, she said, "I was already so annoyed" adding she thought it was asked "in the context of 'Do you read?'"///

Not that Sarah has ever answered the question satisfactorily.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

To 12thGenearerican:

I am a conservative, and do not agree with the course we are headed down, but you need to get a grasp on reality. These concerns of yours will never pass the Senate or see the President's desk. Have some faith in the system. It works....really

Posted by: hsroth1 | November 16, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I love the way 12thgen thinks that makes it more "American" than more recent arrivals, and still gets it all wrong. Fabulous!

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, 12thgenamerican, um...if it's not too presumptuous, I'd like to ask what and how much property and stuff you have. The reason I ask is just simple curiosity, 'cuz I want to know what we're all gonna get when we throw you in jail and take over your stuff. You got any cool cars? A boat (I'm betting a bass boat on a trailer, right?)? A stainless steel three-burner BBQ grill? A collection of Kinkades? Any good books? A collection Playboys from 1976 to 1991?

(Because, see, if I had a better idea I'd know what size U-haul to back up to your house.)

Also, do you have any heavy weapons or machine guns? It would help the SWAT team to know what they're up against when they come to your house. (They already assume you've got the usual republuican assortment of small arms and a shotgun or two, and perhaps that .30-06 your grandfather left you.)

Also, can you chain up the dog or put him in the basement?

I've got you on the schedule for Thursday, between noon and 5 p.m.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach may be successful in entertaining the daily readers regarding Obama's World Tour II . . . though there is a failing to focus on one major action that would 'fundamentally transform the United States of America': coming ever closer to the passage of a socialistic healthcare system.

Posted by: rbblum | November 16, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

It's not Obama that hates America, it's the ones that hate Obama that hate America. When a certain group of well know squirrel sandwich loving right wing nut jobs actually root for America to fail under Obama's watch, that's hating America. Apparently still today, in the 21st century, these sub-humans don't understand the concept of America being a melting pot of people from all walks of life, color and religion. No, these folks still live in the "ROOTS," days, where white people rule and everyone else follows.

Posted by: kubrickstan | November 16, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll take it as a tribute to a great director, but the handle actually makes me think of a minor satellite republic of one of the great powers where everything is sort of mysterious and temporally dislocated.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

P.S. If 12thgenamerican has a big 60-inch TV, I call dibs!

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

That dibs is all yours, Mudge.

I'm not looking forward to 12 herniated spinal discs again.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Mudge,

I love your posts. Is that OK to say?

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Great speech. The teleprompter was on fire.

Posted by: InMyBackyard | November 16, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

That's perfectly fine to say, Manon1. Thank you. I'm flattered.

How's next Wednesday, say, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.?

You got any tropical fish?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh* I'm telling ya, after the third glass of Chardonney, I reelly, reelly don't care what these people say or think.

Thank heavens for the bunker! (And the folks who know the secret handshake to get in...)

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, 'mudge. I do love you so, said Piglet.

The Home Theatre System is yours, but if he has a really good stereo, can you nab it for me? Speakers, too, please.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's make it this Thursday. That's my birthday.

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Because when we finally do institute the socialist agenda for America we've been planning so patiently, there will be no personal ownership of tropical fish. They will become the People's tropical fish. It is much more just that way. Get used to it.

Especially the blue tangs.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Leonid meteor shower jokes on Big Bang Theory. You gotta hand it to them, they get the geek right.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Silly guppy!

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

You gonna call dibs on the books, Mudge? Of course, it's a gamble whether there will be any you and I would be interested in fighting over. You take the modern novels, I'll go for the English history.

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Is it really? Well, happy birthday!

We'll bring one of those Carvel ice cream cakes. Do you have a favorite kind? Chocolate? Strawberry? Maybe one that looks like a clenched fascist fist, or a hammer and cycle?

Oh, Yoki. *sigh* You *do* turn a Tigger's heart.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

YES, Kool-Aid Kids, barack and michelle hate America. The author is pretty selective with his "pro-America" references. That's the problem with the pesky Internet -- the books, the speeches, the remarks are out there, laying out the obama perspective.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | November 16, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

There ain't gonna be any interesting books, slyness. I can already tell.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Sniff, sniff, SPLASH, GULP-- oops.
The People's Fish now will be
stored in dogs' tummies?

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy, another one!

May I please have another glass of Chardonney?

I promise I won't complain in the morning, even if my head does hurt.

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I was afraid of that, Mudge. Probably no music we'd be interested in, either. Darn.

Posted by: slyness | November 16, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I tend toward the mysteries and the military history, slyness.You guys can split all the rest. I know how some of you like your bodice-rippers.

And I don't want to be a hog and take all the good stuff. You can have all the jewelry, the housewares, the clothes and stuff.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I will join you Slyness.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

That *fabulous* gown probably wouldn't fit you anyway.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Hooray, new kinkades for the bunker :-)

I am perplexed and have been trying not to mention this but how exactly would women and men be "really equal" under God, because to date that really hasn't seem to be the case, well at least with the male interpretation of what God wants - and I am sure she is pretty P*ssed with the way we have interpreted her desires.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Chocolate! I dream of chocolate, but am not allowed to have it. Nothing with caffeine. The worst thing I've ever been told is that I can't have chocolate.

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

My guess is a couple of Toby Keith albums, a Blue Collar Comedy Tour DVD and the collected works of Ann Coulter with several of the pages stuck together.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

dmd, you are a shining pearl.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Couple of old Anita Bryant "Best of" albums, slyness. The Lennon Sisters. Bobby and Sissy Sing Broadway. Die Wacht Am Rhine. (I don't think that's a polka album, but I wouldn't swear one way or the other.) Barry Sadler Gold, Vol. I and II. Minny Pearl.

Nope. Nuthin'.

Oh, BTW, Wilbrod, I think I'm going to have to turn down Wilbrodog's application to become Commissar of the People's Tropical Fish. I just don't like that look in his eye, quite frankly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

She IS a pearl. I've always said so.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah Shucks :-)

Pat Boone albums, there must be some of those in there.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 16, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, we have to come up with a caffeine-free non-chocolate alternative for Manon1. I know you do a mean clafouti. Can ya stick candles in one? I'm open to suggestions.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Time to go watch the remastered Star Trek episode "Charlie X", while the dog goes to visit the back yard.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 16, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse


I thought I saw the President groveling again. It appeared he was bowing to the Japaneese Emperor. He best save the katowing for China, or they might stop making all our goodies.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama obviously hates America. He definitely does not understand its roots and history. He has no respect and embarrasses us with fealty to foreign sovereigns.

Matthew
http://www.theindependentview.com

Posted by: MatthewWeaver | November 16, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Great speech. The teleprompter was on fire.

Posted by: InMyBackyard | November 16, 2009 9:24 PM


Too funny. Remember, Joel's a troll-don't take his bait!

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | November 16, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

For the record the U.S. Constitution says that habeas corpus may be suspended in times of insurrection. Not war in general.

Also for the record, the Cato Institute, widely considered right-wing and libertarian; the ACLU, considered left-libertarian, and the Electronic Freedom Foundation, considered well-informed technocratic; all consider the Patriot Act as tremendously un-American. Plus tens of thousands of constitutional scholars, lawyers, legislators, teachers, librarians, etc., etc. ...

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Joel's a troll?

I had no idea.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(Alternative snark: Funny, you don't look trollish.)

I wonder how the voting is going in the WaPo's "So You Think You Can Pund" contest. I've heard rumors of vote fraud in Anbar Province.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

You don't to use candles. It would take all day to get enough candles in a cake for me.

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention millions of American patriots, Jumper!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention millions of American patriots, Jumper!

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 16, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

We could get one of those number "9" candles and a number "8" candle...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I gotta be That Guy and call fact check on the Barry Sadler albums. He only had one. My father-in-law had it on vinyl. Professional courtesy and all. It was the only music other than Edith Piaf he ever listened to.

It also took me a while to piece together why he would just stand there and shake his head whenever my future wife would put on the Jane Fonda Workout.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'd love to bake for Manon. And with that name, it has to be something authentically truly French.

How about a tarte au citron (complete with ground almond-flour and candied lemon slices on top)? I could manipulate the confectioners' sugar into any number desired (I'm guessing a lower one than my age...).

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Lost a word...don't *want* to use...

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh where have you been, Billy Boy?
Billy boy,
Where have you been, darlin' Billy?

I've been to see my sweetheart...

(Twice six, twice seven, twice twenty and eleven).

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

But she is too young to leave her Mother.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Cracking me up, mudge!

I've been an avid auction-goer most of my life and spent more time than I'd like to think about helping people move, clearing out elderly relatives' possessions, etc. Let me tell you, there's not a lot of things that other people have that I really want! It's just stuff.

Does this mean I'm not a secular liberal?

Posted by: -dbG- | November 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, yello, you're gonna have to do better than that. Sure, Sadler only had one "legitimate" album, but you're clearly forgetting the bootleg "Presidio Pals" album Barry did at the Fillmore. They say the Castro District was a ghost town that evening. Barry didn't like to talk about it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.........My sources tell me that Attorney General Holder has request that the "9/ll" jury should consist of: (1) Bill O'Reilly (2) Rush Limbaugh (3) Mike Steele (4) Glen Beck (5) Sarah Palin (6) John Boehner (7) John McCain (8) Lou Dobbs (9) Rudy Giuliani (10) Carl Rowe (11)Tim Pfewlenty (12) Shawn Hannity..........Knowing how "fair and unbias" they are what would happen to the Great Republican Party if they found the "9/11" prisoners NOT GUILTY? Would BUSH/CHENEY have a heart attack? Would George Will leave the country? Would Fox News declare Bankruptcy? Who would lead the Tea Party? Would Newt Gingrich go crazy? Would the world come to an end?

Posted by: weeksmith | November 16, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

That's close, Mudge. This Thursday marks my 78th orbit around the sun.

And, Yoki, there is nothing authentically French about me. Manon is simply "anon" with an *M* stuck on the front.


Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, that bootleg is probably worth a fortune. Maybe I will call dibs after all.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

In that case, it is chocolate cake (maybe Sachertorte) all the way!

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

A poor translation of the French-language joke that always cracks up my young (very) friends.

What do you call a hard-of-hearing cat?

MINOU!!!

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

It would be a shame if a jury like that got hung.

(Sorry, couldn't resist. You guys know I have no self-control when there's a punchline at stake.)

Memo to self: do socialists have "commissars"? Must check rule book.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I fail weeksmith on capitalization alone.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse


Now Yoki he tried to do a song
But it looks like he’s hittin’ the bong.
Ain’t nothin’ much rhymes
An he left out the chimes,
And he got the rhythm all wrong. :)

Hammingaway Jr.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, feel free to send me the lemon tart. I'd hate to see it go to waste.

Posted by: rashomon | November 16, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Hah! billyboy.

rashomon, check Scotty’s Magic Fax™ -- coming over now.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Billw3, Yoki am a "her."

You might be thinking of the Yankees catcher, Yoki Burroughs, author of "Naked Lunch."

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

No,no! The lemon tarte is mine!

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse


Ah yes Yoki, but only the chosen may be without darkness.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

'Tis, 'mudge. Mr. Bill obviously doesn't understand allusion. I *could* sing the whole song (but will spare you that) but know that anyone who knows their folk-type songs will get it.

This darned allusive Pimpernel!

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, *two* tartes au citron (shriek? help!) on the fax. One to manon, one to rashomon.

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse


Thanks Curmugie, and my apology Yoki.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Accepted, fully. Still friends?

Posted by: Yoki | November 16, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

¿¿

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | November 16, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki. I know it will be fantastic.

Posted by: Manon1 | November 16, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse


I came here tryin’ to get a rise
But you dudes keep talkin’ about pies
And tarts and things
Food fit for Kings,
You’ve missed my thinly veiled guise…
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse


Thank you. Best of pals.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Does Obama hate America? Absolutely! At the very least, Obama hates what America has represented from the time of our independence from the British to when he took office.

Posted by: liberalsareblind

--------------------------
This is a sign of stupidity -typical wingnut rants.

Posted by: beeker25 | November 16, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should switch to magic pdfs. Much easier to send to multiple recipients.

Posted by: rashomon | November 16, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse


The flag pin Obama eschewed
An’ some thought this quite rude.
Let’s hope he’s true blue
An’ not all askew…
‘cause you see, if he ain’t we’re screwed.

So to speak, that is.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 16, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

mudge,

Ah, the mythical "Don't Ask, Just Sing" album.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 16, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Oboobma is breathtakingly ignorant of America outside his elite, far-left bubble. He is ignorant of the free enterprise system that has drawn all those immigrants and allowed them to achieve their dreams. He is obsessed with America's relatively trivial shortcomings and determined to apologize for them at every turn. He thinks we're just another country, not the greatest.

Maybe he hates America, or maybe he's just an ignoramus.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/PhotoPopup.aspx?id=512640

Posted by: thebump | November 16, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Sad story of the loss of another newspaper: The Washington Blade closed its doors today.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601477.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: -TBG- | November 16, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney is a big doodoohead. Was that it?

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

This all reminds me of the time I was Shanghaied in Omaha. 'Twas the spring of '76 and they was despert fer rig hands. I was having a hair o' th' dog at Lillie's and the next thing I knowed I was in the back of a Ford flatbed rigged with side boards and full of about 12 men in no better shape than me. And I had a knot on my head the size of a goat turd and a headache fit to kill. There wuz a mean SOB named Cheeny and two goons with baseball bats and .45s strapped on 'em to keep fellers from jumpin' off.
Soon enought we pull up through the prickly pear and mesquite to a smokin', belchin' coal fired steam powered drilling rig with a name painted on the driller's shack said "Zapata Drilling Company." (to be continued)

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 16, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of both "feeding the trolls" and outraging some of the longstanding residents, I will suggest that there is a grain of truth to one of the comments above. In particular, I believe Obama is somewhat "ignorant of the free enterprise system that has drawn all those immigrants and allowed them to achieve their dreams" by virtue of the fact that he really has never worked in a private enterprise or been part of that system (with, maybe, an exception for the brief time that he was writing business book summaries or whatever he did before moving to Chicago).

That is not to say that he doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities that would make up for or offset that shortcoming, but I do believe that for a person with a background like Obama's, enacting policies that foster free enterprise and successful small businesses may not be at the top of his personal focus list owing to the fact that his professional life is not a product of that system. In addition he's not chosen to surround himself with many business owners or champions of business. As a result, reform aimed to encourage business will not likely be a top priority for this administration, when it arguably could be doing much more to reverse the recession.

Like it or not, revenue growth for the government is going to have to come from increases in business activities (and corresponding tax collections). There just isn't enough money in individual incomes--even at a confiscatory income tax rate--to make a reasonable effort at balancing this budget and reducing our overwhelming debt. Accordingly, there's going to have to be more effort to encourage growth of business and targeted capital investment.

Posted by: Awal | November 16, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Awal... one of the regulars here is married to a man who worked with Obama at a Baskin Robbins during high school.

Obama was raised by his grandparents; his grandfather worked in the furniture business and his grandmother was eventually the vice president of a bank.

Now, I'm never been a real estate broker, but having been raised by one, I think I have a deent understanding of the business. Someone as smart as Obama likely picked up a few ideas about the private sector, watching his grandparents along the way.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 17, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Awal, I think perhaps the previous administration's friendly habit of giving away the store to its business-y friends is what got us into this recession in the first place.

Hi to all the enbunkered ones. Thanks for your kind words about my reappearing unemployment.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | November 17, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Hi Wheezy!

I think I'm heading to bed now. This darn cold had me in bed half the day and now I'm just getting tired again.

I must say, though, that Mucinex-D is a miracle drug. Twelve hours of decongestant-plus-expectorant magic.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 17, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse


"...Kindness, sweetest
of the small notes

in the world's ache,
most modest & gentle
of the elements

entered man before history
and became his daily
connection, let no man

tell you otherwise." --Carl Rakosi

Carl Rakosi, objectivist poet and social work/therapist, wrote this poem. I place it here in the political boodle thread of today. I believe that the poem's observation is on-kit. Read his obit here.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2004/jun/28/guardianobituaries.booksobituaries

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | November 17, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Today's New Yorker is a food issue, complete with a story on poutine by Calvin Trillin.

Locally, the oranges are moving. Huge trailers loaded with navals and some tangerines, too.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 17, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Awal, darlin' I love you. I reely do. But let us call a spade a spade.

To increase tax revenues, we need to either raise taxes, or tax the base more.

The magical thinking that says, by lowering taxes we can increase revenues, is, just, that. Magic. For which I have no evidence. And have no patience.

Posted by: Yoki | November 17, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Awal, darlin' I love you. I reely do. But let us call a spade a spade.

To increase tax revenues, we need to either raise taxes, or tax the base more.

The magical thinking that says, by lowering taxes we can increase revenues, is, just, that. Magic. For which I have no evidence. And have no patience.

Posted by: Yoki | November 17, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh. Heart-touched.

Posted by: Yoki | November 17, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Manon, I think for 78 you get to celebrate for a month, not just one day. I lament your chocolate-free diet.

Posted by: seasea1 | November 17, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I think maybe Awal was saying there's a third way, making a bigger base. But I'm not really paying attention.

Goodnight all.

Posted by: LostInThought | November 17, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Run outside, they've started!!!

Posted by: Boko999 | November 17, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Boko! Even though my hands are shaking, I am awfully glad to see you.

Posted by: Yoki | November 17, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm suppose to be able to see shower tomorrow before dawn. I'll see if I can wake up.

Posted by: rainforest1 | November 17, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Boko. Hi, Yoki.

Posted by: rainforest1 | November 17, 2009 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Hi, Rainforest.

Posted by: Yoki | November 17, 2009 4:18 AM | Report abuse

I would say that is our previous president that had no idea how the free enterprise system worked. He never once worked for an entity that didn't fail miserably and have to be bailed out by angel investors.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

I'll give the meteor shower a try after I take a shower and head out for the train station.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Sheesh Boko, you woke me up!
But thanks anyway. I put in a wish for lemon tarts at breakfast.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | November 17, 2009 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Here are some people that understand capitalism:

http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/11/13/china-bans-obamao-shirt-fearing-offense-to-obama/

Why can't wingnuts come up with something as catchy as Obamao?

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Hello Rainforest!

Hey did you see my last response to you? I got back to the boodle late and didn't realize that you had responded. (about Manoa valley?)

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's a shocker: Cheney and Co. lied to us about 9/11. Nobody was in charge. Anybody that wasn't cowering was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/books/review/Heilbrunn-t.html?_r=3

And we may be in no better shape today.

///For all the trillions of dollars lavished on it, for all the talk about confronting new security threats, for all the exhortations to reinvent government, America’s defense establishment, as John Farmer reminds us in “The Ground Truth,” continued to fight the cold war more than a decade after it had ended.///

Posted by: yellojkt | November 17, 2009 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Hi! IIRC Molly Ivins was a great font of economic understanding and wisdom.

I'm sorry about my earlier post, I should have mentioned looking up and waiting a couple of five minutes.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 17, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Dark and alone in work cave. Saddened by story on front page of Post. Concerned about folks having to go to CVS for replacement batteries for their electric cars. Check out is going to be a b1tch.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, everybody! That includes you, Cassandra. I was slow to rise this morning, but I did finally make it.

Much excellent banter overnight, great to read first thing in the morning.

Fortunately, no headache, even after polishing off the whole bottle of Chardonney. Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sour cream coffee cake muffins on the ready room table this morning. It's a recipe from Southern Living I just had to try. Y'all let me know if it's a keeper or not.

Manon, we will celebrate your birthday in style. Do carob work as a substitute for chocolate? Probably not.

Posted by: slyness | November 17, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Gut morninckzz, Boodlinskys!

Dollar alert!

The greenback continues to lose value, over 20% so far this year. In Chile it has dropped from 600 to 494 CHP to the dollar.

There are frightening similarities with the Soviet Union at the edge of collapse and the U,S. situation today.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | November 17, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

"Palin's unconventional trajectory and unkempt mind ..."

Eugene Robinson

ha ha ha.

Achenbach and Robinson have laptops just like I do, but their keyboards must be better.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Morning everyone.

Re: US dollar, the other day I found $40 in a pair of pants, I had worn on our trip to Boston. Yesterday needing gas in my car I went and got $40 worth of gas and paid with my crisp US bills, and then waiting a few awkward moments to recieve my change - for the exchange - wasn't expecting much, maybe enough for a coffee - nothing. Our dollar is not quite at par but getting close.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 17, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

*facepalm*

I can't believe I'm reading this on the home page:

"Under God -- '2012' destroys the Vatican but not Mecca. Should blockbusters be religiously correct?"

Ai chihuahua...

*facepalm headdesk facepalm headdesk facepalm*

In other news, 'twas a lovely sunrise to be had on today's Dawn Patrol.

*going-to-find-an-icepack-for-mah-achin'-head Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 17, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Brag! Yes, in some ways.

China is the tragic mud dam sitting upstream to the US economy. Due to the ignorance and incompetence of the Bush administration, Obama has this one, as well.

The risk is that the traders will overshoot and get caught in the ebb tide on this one.

There are so many financial risks right now in this country that it is frightening. There is the commercial real estate crisis that is "right there," and junk bonds ... right there, as well. Both of those will potentially crush the dollar.

As trade with the rest of the world gets more problematic, the net exporters to the USA will feel the pinch. The USA is also suffering because, ultimately, the government has not figured out how to really reward businesses from cutting their staffs and downsizing their businesses to maintain a 10% ROI.

No one in the USA needs a short-term 10% ROI. What they need is full(-er) employment and a more vibrant consumer economy. The holiday season is somewhat shielding the fact that our consumer economy is grinding to a halt. The banking forces are pushing the consumer to become a net saver almost overnight. That may be good for the long run, but this does not make for anything approaching a viable canvas for Obama and his team to paint a reasonable picture for an economic recovery.

The dollar may be toast, but the echo will rebound and smack other currencies, as well. I totally understand the gold frenzy. As they say, this is just Economics 101. Brag, the part I find interesting is that, at some point, it will become viable again to re-tool and resuscitate our industrial and manufacturing base. By holding dollars, what China has done is sustain and extend their boom. They have to know that it is coming.

At some point, the currency crisis will actually create jobs in America. But first, Americans have to, quoting Bush, "go shopping."

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, did you see Kareem's facepalm on Jeopardy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h03QVlrwI_s

Airplane moment AND funny comeback from Kareem.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I did, Weed, I did. *giggle*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 17, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Enough about China! Enough about politics! Raise your eyes to the skies and get some of that Hubble Vision!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN-3ZsqeTAI

The Hotel Mauna Kea Girl (you can read the credits if you want her real name) has recorded a song on behalf of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which their EPO lead has made into a video. Tell your friends and family!

(Are those enough exclamation points?)

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 17, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Thistle,

Good comments. At the moment, what's driving the world's economy is China. Countries like Peru and Chile have come out of recession, their economies are growing thanks to Chinese and some European growth.

The U.S. will not solve its crisis by printing dollars. It also cannot sustain the huge expenditures on armaments (52% of world's total)and two useless wars.

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | November 17, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I managed to see two shooting stars (one was a straight-on flash and the other one had a short tail) from the Leonids but I have two comments to make.
1- Dogs are not into celestial events. They kept on bugging me to get back inside where dog kibble had to be served pronto.
2- Gradual bifocal glasses *socks* at watching meteors.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 17, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

That is a great video, thanks for the link SciTim.

Posted by: dmd3 | November 17, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Tim Tim Tim!!! You guys just keep getting better and better. Most excellent!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Shangaied in Omaha (cont'd)
Well, turns out I'd been knocked out a lot longer than I had figgered. We ended up miles from Nebraska, down in Texas on a piece o' land called the "Vaquero Ranch." But they put us to work on that clanky drilling rig and I was weak as a baby fer a few days. But they did feed us; you caint get no work out of a man otherwise. Tough beef and varmint meat is what we et. That and beans.

Anyhow, that Cheeny had a cudgel and a bullwhip on his belt and he'd whip any man gave 'im any trouble. Zapata was one tough outfit. He about took the skin off my back twicet in the first few days til he saw I was getting stronger from bein hit too hard on my head. Not that he had a bone of kindness in him. He took a red-hot branding iron to one man tried to run off. (to be continued)

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 17, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Great video, Tim.

Rt, you responded to Middle of Pacific.

Posted by: rainforest1 | November 17, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I can't take any credit at all for this one -- I'm just the publicist.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 17, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Awal, I was quite interested in your post at 11:53 last night. It strikes me as one of the few (perhaps only) reasonably rational posts from the Republican side of the aisle I’ve seen on this boodle in years. Usually we get the crazoids, the ideologues, and the wingnuts (and I would immediately agree these types exist on the left as well). Be that as it may, you strike me as an “old school” Republican from back in the 1950s and 1960s, what I would call the “Chamber of Commerce Republicans” who once were the core of the GOP before the Goldwater conserves emerged, along with the Dixiecrat transfers and then the emergent religious rightwing. You seem to be what Republicans used to be, once upon a time, before they got crazy. As such, I take your post seriously and respectfully, and I’d like to discuss your post and a few related things.

First and foremost, if I’m correct that you are an old line CofC GOP, I’d be interested in you view of the GOP as it exists today, versus what it once was when it was dominated by the business/CofC community. (If I were you, I’d be pretty upset and disturbed about what it has become.)

Second, your view of the Free Enterprise System (FES) and its relationship to politics in general and the nation as a whole. For instance, you assert that Obama has no significant knowledge of the FES because he never worked in it.
--Disregarding whether that may be true or not in Obama’s case, do you assert that only someone who has worked in the FES can understand it?
--Do you assert that economic policies can only be crafted by someone with extensive insider/participant knowledge of the FES? Cannot academics who study it also understand it and craft policies?
--Do you assert that a president “should/must” have FES knowledge/experience to be a good president?

Third, you assert that “enacting policies that foster free enterprise and successful small businesses may not be at the top of his personal focus list” because he lacks FES.
--Given all our other problems, why should fostering FES and SmBiz be at the top of his – or anyone’s -- list? Why is this a “top priority” ahead of two wars and reversing the Bush/Wall Street meltdown?

Fourth, how does a CofC GOPer like yourself reconcile your ardent support for big business/Wall Street and also claim to support “small business” as you say? Isn’t the Big Business/Wall/Street view of mergers and efficiencies and all that pretty much directly antithetical to “small business”? In other words, how can you support the WalMarts and Home Depots and Borders of Big Business versus the mom-and-pops? I’ve never understood how Republicans can support both when they are diametrically opposed enemies.

more

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest!!! yes, I am a multitasking failure.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Fifth, will you recognize that it is possible to be critical (even highly critical) of the FES, and yet not be branded (as many of you do) as some sort of commie pinko leftwing socialist yadda yadda? Is it not possible to assert that the FES has a number of (very) large and observable flaws? (Among them that it isn’t in fact, all that “free,” since it disdains govt. “interference” and regulation, but begs govt. bailouts when it does something stupid or criminal, as now.)

Sixth, would you agree that it has been the deregulation of business begun by the Reaganites and the Bush admin’s complete indifference to regulation that has gotten us into the present mess? Wouldn’t you agree that business, just like anyone else, needs a certain amount of regulation and oversight? And that left to its own devices, many businesses are basically unscrupulous and rapacious? Would you agree that American business (unlike, say, Japan’s) is extremely short-sighted, think only about the next fiscal quarter and not ten years down the road, and – not to put too fine a point on it – is “just plain greedy” (viz. the mortgage meltdown, etc.).

Seventh, would you agree that in Big Business and Wall Street that executive compensation and the bonus system has gotten completely out-of-hand and over-the-top? That if anyone in America is “out of touch” with the American people surely it must be Wall Street execs, Detroit CEOs, the mortgage bankers, Big Pharma and Big Med Insurance?

Eighth, in summary wouldn’t you agree that the FES that you esteem so highly is seriously dysfunctional, broken, and in need of major reform and repair? And that no one presently “inside” the FES seems to be able to fix it?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Yoki,

You're right that someone is eventually going to have to fall on his or her sword and raise taxes. I suspect that it's an act of political suicide no matter how you do it, but the problem is that there needs to be a higher base of economic activity to tax--even at higher tax rates than we have now. With a near-$2 trillion deficit, you just don't have many "creative" options to close that gap, and as I pointed out, even if you raise taxes substantially on individuals, at the income they make now there still won't be enough to close that gap (we'll save spending cuts for a later discussion). So there have to be policies that increase business activity.

And while I appreciate that Obama does come from a working-class background I think that having a basic understanding of business is very different from being someone who: had to meet a quota to feed a family; had to deal with sometimes-insane government regulation; had to make sales in order to keep people employed and a business running etc. Even the most left-leaning of economists have no doubt that taxation and other governmental policies can have profound impacts on business activity.

There's no question that the Bush administration didn't encourage business in the proper way even when they were being "business friendly", but a klepto-oligarchy isn't necessarily the same thing as being legitimately business friendly.

Also to Thistle's point, we're about to have a huge involuntary "tax increase" in this country as the plummeting dollar wreaks all sorts of havoc on the economy including substantial increases in interest rates, huge reductions in purchasing power on imported goods and services, crazy prices for international travel etc. We're going to have to pay one way or another. I would rather do it within the context of a right-tracked, functioning domestic economy instead of as a weak and supplicant debtor nation.

Posted by: Awal | November 17, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

While I’m beating your ear, Awal, I want to expound upon one of these points. I have never quite understood a couple of the major “Articles of Faith” of CofC GOPers. In the CofC economic theology, Small Business is alleged to be revered. You yourself mentioned it as a piece of the sacrament, which is fine. You want it to be encouraged and you want govt. (which you paradoxically don’t want to interfere) to encourage it, promote it, protect it (by not regulating it, again paradoxically), foster it, etc. So much for keeping hands off.

Be that as it may, you also support Big Business, which has among its major theological Stations of the Cross the notions that it is one of BB’s objectives to amalgamate, buy out, consolidate, and otherwise drive out and destroy smaller competition, in order to produce “economies of scale” as well as maximization of profit and the bottom line. So isn’t it basically the goal of Big Business to destroy Small Business? Lowe’s and Home Depot destroy all the little mom-and-pop lumber yards and neighborhood hardware stores, Wal-Mart destroys god knows how many mom-and-pops of all kinds, McDonald’s and Applebees and Olive Garden destroy Mom’s Diner and Larry’s Burger Joint and the Faluccio Family’s Italian Restaurant. Borders and Barnes and Noble have wiped out Crown Books, which wiped out Sally’s Book Store and Joe’s Magazine Shop.

I don’t understand this. It seems to me that if we want to protect and foster Small Business, the people gummint “should” be protecting it from is … Big Business.

Yes? No?

We no longer “build” anything, and we no longer “make” anything; we have shipped manufacturing off to overseas, and have become a service economy. Who has done this dreadful thing? Not gummint. Not small business. Not politicians. It was Big Business that did it. And they want to blame it on the labor unions. Which is why Toyota and Honda are building their cars here, not there. Explain that to me. Most of our vaccines are made overseas…though I am unaware that there is any major labor union representing the all-powerful stick-a-virus-in-an-egg-yolk workers (you DON’T want to cross *that* picket line!). Our IT Help Desks are staffed by people in Bangalore and Mumbai. I guess they were driven over there by the goons hired by the Teamsters, who control the domestic IT Help Desk industry. So thank you, Big Business, for fostering Small Businesses…in New Delhi.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Achenbach and Robinson have laptops just like I do, but their keyboards must be better.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 7:25 AM"

I love laughing out loud in the morning. Wakes my brain up. Thank you.

Posted by: --dr-- | November 17, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I enjoyed the thoughtful and diverse Boodle commentary of late, ocsasional wingnut(of both sides) aside. Thanks particularly to awal and also, hroth, thanks for playing.

dr beat me to it: I was going to post & praise Weed's splendid and funny comment.

Did anyone else notice the phrase "squirrel sandwich loving" in a wingnut post? Caught my eye, that.

I'm excited about preparations for Manon's Thursday birthday. My deep regrets that you cannot have chocolate. Alas. I know there are many other lovely delicacies, but still.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

A Boodle Encore Presentation:

"It's not Obama that hates America, it's the ones that hate Obama that hate America. When a certain group of well know squirrel sandwich loving right wing nut jobs actually root for America to fail under Obama's watch, that's hating America. Apparently still today, in the 21st century, these sub-humans don't understand the concept of America being a melting pot of people from all walks of life, color and religion. No, these folks still live in the "ROOTS," days, where white people rule and everyone else follows.

Posted by: kubrickstan | November 16, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Mayhaps I might suggest a handful of hyphens may enhance it, thus:

"well-know[n] squirrel-sandwich-loving right-wing nut jobs..."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | November 17, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

And applause to ScienceTim for publicizing that great video. Those pointy-headed geeky astrophysicist types are pretty talented, huh?

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 17, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Off topic but very amusing. NOT safe for work with the sound on - there's a swear word!

http://www.break.com/index/bugatti-veyron-crashes-into-lake.html

Posted by: badsneakers | November 17, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick drive by to shout out to Mudgekins -- Oh, I *do* *heart* you for your side of the discussion with Awai.

Manon -- too bad about the chocolate, but there's a whole lot of other good food to fax you for your upcoming birthday (we do celebrate each other here in fine style). And an advance HBTY!

A friend of mine in a non-management position at a mid-size company told me a year ago that everyone got an email from the CEO stating that for the foreseeable future that all salaries were frozen and there would be no bonuses. And then, the CEO proceeded to tell everyone about the recent upper management retreat on a Caribbean Island.

How does *that* taste, Awai? Alas, that appears to be typical behavior.

Again, New Zealand is nice, I hear. Quiet, beautiful, good health care. . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | November 17, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Awal, the second I know I can afford to negotiate health insurance as a self-employed person, I'll be working for myself. I'm not kidding, I've been wanting to do this for the last 15 years.

A lot of small businesses are really being outcompeted by big business on cost margins alone, and the elephant in the room has been health care; large businesses can negotiate better costs because they're bigger customers, while small businesses may find their health costs skyrocket overnight because a couple of employees got sick.

Do you really think a black-owned or predominately black business in Washington D.C., one of the areas with the highest prevalence of AIDS, is going to have the same health care costs as somewhere else?

Health insurance costs forces businesses to discriminate against potentially valuable employees. I saw this in the small business I worked at and how fast the health costs rose. That is one of the biggest drags on economic growth and has been for the last 10 years.

By the way, I was laid off amidst a health crisis. That I will never forget.

There are millions of disabled people who would like to work but can't afford the impact on their health.

I'd say that Obama has at least ONE economic problem affecting small businesses and enterpenteurship as a very high priority on his list.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 17, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

A good example of this is the recent acquisition of Black & Decker by Stanley Tool Works. Now, here's the kicker:
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091110-718253.html

The point is that Big Business has adopted a model of massive fraud, deception of consumers, and cheating. Theft is the model. Instead of delivering quality products, all products are to be manufactured not of durable materials, but built from plastic and advertising. Whoever controls the biggest network of gossips rules. Truth is irrelevant.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, great points all. I sit here amazed... make that astounded at the billions of dollars being spent to lobby and confuse the health care discussion. Pretty much a even a moron should be able to tell that Universal Health care is by far the best solution to our employment and entrepreneurial problem in this country.

What's more, without a universal solution, the older you get in America, the more you have to be concerned for your insurance security. One can blame this one problem with many of business enterprise failures over the past 15 years and it isn't getting any better.

The solutions be proposed are almost byzantine in comparison to the simple solution of national basic health insurance.

Ask yourself why stock prices shoot up at insurance companies whenever it looks like the health care reform bill takes a press hit. Of course, it's because there is so much profit in the current model. Any moron can check it out that Medicare is much more efficient in its dispensing of health care... a limited Universal Plan.

Even the health costs recorded by the private insurers have additional costs loaded into their numbers for which we wouldn't have to pay if we went national and public, and most importantly simple and portable. (and cheaper).

Healthcare doesn't change.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

How pleasant to get up and find birthday wishes to me on the boodle. I like the idea of celebrating for a month.

Posted by: Manon1 | November 17, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

That's an interesting article, Jumper. Perhaps Stanley is engaged in vertical integration -- from the power tools that clumsy people use to injure themselves, to the hospital facilities that care for them. Next step: manufacture of pain-relievers (I think they already make the saws for cleaning up after DIY amputations) and operating mortuaries. Both of them businesses with plenty of need for quality power tools.

In fairness, though, I'm not sure I'd blame Stanley for the cheapness of tools. My experience has been that Stanley tools are much better than B&D's name-brand tools. On the other hand, my visit to the B&D factory store out in Westminster, years ago, showed me that there are extensive lines of B&D name-brand tools that are not offered to the general public. B&D also owns the DeWalt and Elu brands of quality tools (which they acquired in earlier take-overs). B&D is already a Big Business, being consumed by another Big Business -- one that has a better reputation for quality.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

My goodness, Manon -- take the whole year! Take the whole century -- indeed, take the whole millennium!

I feel generous today. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | November 17, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Great discussion going on here. Weed, you are so right about healthcare. Right now I'm on COBRA and it is being subsidized -thank you stimulus plan. But the subsidy is for nine months, after that my healthcare costs will rise dramatically. If I don't get a job and COBRA runs out in January 2011, I will have to foot the bill for insurance for a year until Medicare kicks in. That will be one very expensive year, even tho' my state (MA) has healthcare.

Manon, a very happy almost birthday to you! I'm always happy to see a new boodler, especially one that is older than I am.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 17, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

All this talk of birthdays, I'm feeling positively youthful. And since we finally got a president younger than me, that ain't always the case.

Posted by: bobsewell | November 17, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Republicans annoy scientists
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/10/only-six-percent-of-scien_n_229382.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 17, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

badsneakers! Yes. I think of all those bankrupt companies that have dumped their plans into the Federal Govt. The other thought is that we should tax companies that merge to make mega-companies. The only rationale is to lower the business overhead.

(thinking of the Tool merger) ... they should pay a tax for this to support the job relocation costs.

Also, the "watered-down" health proposal of the Senate is making Goldman Sachs announce that this will be a boon to the insurance companies. We are forcing our citizenry to get insurance. Talk about a real invasion of our rights.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm probably late once again but I just found some additional trickery that NASA made up to support the Moon landing hoax.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/lroc_200911109_apollo11.html

Pretty cool if it were real. The metallic hardware isn't that dusty; it shines brighly in the sun.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 17, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, about the big-business/small-business thing, I think that there is a cycle of renewal where small,innovative, vital businesses are constantly created and fuel that end of the economy. If they're successful, they grow and may become big businesses, and unfotunately, sometimes displace smaller businesses in the same industry, while becoming stable and less flexible, though more powerful economically and politically.

It seems like a difficult balancing act to facilitate innovation and growth of small business while allowing for stability and investment opportunity that Big Business allows (um, 410ks are important, aren't they?).

I don't envy anyone'd job in trying to regulate such things, but it seems to me that it needs to be an active process to manage both ends of the scale to a happy medium.

Or providing for legislation/regulation that allows US citizens working across the spectrum of the economy and industry to have some sort of affordable health care options...

I don't see these as binary choices -- a variety of means may be needed to arrive appropriate, meaningful, implementable solutions. And I'd think they need to have some flexibility to allow for change when/where necessary.

On another note, I did manage to see some meteors last night/this morning before the clouds socked things in.

On a final note, while I was driving the other night, I was listening to the radio, and stumbled across some music, and said to myself - "Wow, who *are* these guys - they sound like Led Zeppelin."

As it turns out, there's a lot of good stuff in that jambalya (Zep, dashes of FoodFighters and Nirvana, and QotSA:

Them Crooked Vultures

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111603758.html

Listen to 'em now, supergroups almost never last.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | November 17, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse


Health care, war expense, medicare, drug assistance, bail out wall street, GM, Chrysler, AIG, Fanny May, banks, buy clunkers, Tax credits for home buyers, pork in bills being passed, $500 stimulus checks to individuals.
Printing and borrowing money to cover all this is already taking a toll, and continuation of deficit increases and low interest will ruin our currency.
The problem started right after world war two, both partied being to blame. China has a solid manufacturing base, we do not, and they are lined up to become the dominant country in the world. Suck it up, all you greedy UAW workers along with others who priced your labor out of the world market and maxed out your credit cards. Your indulgence is coming home to roost.
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 17, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Got up just before 1:00 AM (the time listed for the start of the shower here and was promptly rewarded with a big blue streak that left several seconds of an after glow. Then small ones every ten minutes. About 2, the clouds started forming but then even through the cloud cover was a really, really big fireball sheding chunks of smaller fire balls.

Them darn backyard trees that need removing. OPPS
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091116/ARTICLES/911169936/1350?Title=Crane-cleanup-begins-at-crushed-Santa-Rosa-home-

Posted by: bh72 | November 17, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Billw3? was that your thought process at work?

MMMMmmm.

I need to go make a cup of tea.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse


russianthistle ask:
"Billw3? was that your thought process at work?"

Yes. What do you think of my 'thought process'?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It, like many other body functions, is fascinating, even if not exactly attractive.

Posted by: bobsewell | November 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

OK. Good to know it.

You know that the AIG thing was to overt a certain financial collapse, right?

You can debate would we should do so to not face a similar fate again, or you could debate what we as a people should get in return for bailing out Wall Street, but it is hard to suggest that letting a depression happen is better than spending money, whether we had to print it or not.

A better debate might also be about why we cut taxes on the ultra wealthy in the past 8 years.

Or why we provide tax shelters to companies that relocation their manufacturing business off shore along with the capital.

Bill, do you know who is footing the majority of the anti-health care reform efforts?

Who's axe is grinding, here?

I accept that there is a lot of simpathy for their NO or Anti position, but who is dropping the dime?

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

sorry Bill, I was texting and blogging at the same time (it's bad when the typos are real words that therefore don't turn red.

Posted by: russianthistle | November 17, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

New kit, thank goodness!

Posted by: Moose13 | November 17, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Mr. Russianthistle Sir.. Here's the thing. I was not knocking any particular asspeck.. of the situation. Likely there will be no easy way, the piper must be paid. However, I have lived conservately. Never had a credit card, worked 12 hours a day, paid off my home loan 3 years into it. Now I'm no angel mind you (regardless of how it may appear..), but over-extension at all levels and freebies to get votes ain't helped the country. Neither has unaccountable and uncouth politicians, or voters who vote party line rather than support these rascals. Remember the Roman Empire?
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Mr. Russianthistle, sorry a typo. Please change change "rather than' to "and".
.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 17, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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