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Travails of a Washington sports fan

Yesterday, the Redskins lost convincingly to the previously unheralded, underpaid, misnamed St. Louis Rams, making rookie Sam Bradford look like Joe Montana. The first two weeks of the season, the Redskins looked good, borderline fascinating, winning a narrow one and losing a narrow one and creating hope that perhaps they would make the playoffs and be a fun team to watch all season. This was clearly intolerable to the Redskins, who wasted no time falling two touchdowns behind, which would prove to be the final margin.

There's a lesson in this: Fans should moderate expectations and assume that past peformance, while not ensuring future results, is a pretty good predictor of future results. The Redskins have been mediocre for nearly two decades. A good season is one in which they win eight games out of 16. So far this year they've won a game and lost two and now have several difficult games ahead, so winning six is probably a reasonable expectation.

The same philosophy applies to being a Nationals fan. Expect mediocrity. Assume that if we have a fantastic pitching prospect he will blow out his arm. Keep hope dead, is my advice.

It can be calming, this reduction of expectations. One does not have to spend so much time on the edge of one's seat if one knows that the team will throw the interception that thwarts the fourth-quarter comeback, or fan feebly on strike three to leave the bases loaded precisely when even a single, a little flare over the second baseman's head, would have been lovely to see.

Sometimes, people and institutions change, and get better, and produce surprising results that gladden the heart.

But not usually.

By Joel Achenbach  | September 27, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
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Next: Anxiety roundup, from D.C. to Islamabad


The whole concept of being loyal to a constantly changing group of professional athletes based on geographical proximity to the location where they play 50% of their games is so quaint as to be touching.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

But then you must remember, yello, that the fans are not loyal to the athletes, they are loyal to the shirts they wear. Exhibit A is D. McNabb, hated as an Eagle, loved as a RSkin. Exhibit B is Sam Huff, hated as a Giant, beloved as a RSkin. Exhibit C is the 1987 scab season. Case closed.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 27, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

And yet, the Nats continue to attempt relevancy by sweeping the battling-for-a-playoff-spot Braves.

And I note JA has mercifully avoided the Wiz and the Caps...


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 27, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least with the Caps it's a matter of how far into the playoffs they go this year. The Wiz will be a complete mystery - Beyond Wall and Gil, I'm not even sure who's on the team any more. The Nats have shown a bit of poise late in the season, they improved a bit from last year, and they are better than about 4 or 5 other teams. I think they ought to re-sign Adam Dunn for starters. I still have this real concern that DC is where good pitchers go to lose all their stuff and start to look like AA clean-up guys.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 27, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Keep hope dead? "Sometimes, people and institutions change, and get better, and produce surprising results that gladden the heart.
But not usually."

I'm sending Joel a few rolls of quarters (forget the nickels) so that his office time is concentrated on the forthcoming book. I love me some sports, but this tawk of personalities and trading and regional esprit de corps is ... meh.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, yello.

As a DC-area native, my primary allegance is the to Washington NFL Franchise, and my only public acquiesence to NFL jersey wear is a Sonny Jurgensen #9 throwback jersey (from the 1969 season) given to me as a gift.

Long-time fans might know that Jurgensen was a retread from the Philly Eagles, and coached for that season by some cat named Lombardi who'd formerly plied his trade somewhere in the midwest, north of Chicago or something...

I almost picked the Rams yesterday, knowing that this is exactly the kind of game Washington loses (poor teams with Rookie QBs), but hoped that this time, things might be different.

As it turns out, we are what we are.

(Having said that, I did take the Jets last night.)


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Give them bread, sports, sports, and more sports, that will distract US from the hole the polls and fence sitters have left US in. Think?

....and maybe some MTV!

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. That reference to Sam Bradford looking like Joe Montana caught my eye. I know Joe Montana was a very good quarterback. The name Sam Bradford obtruded onto my consciousness from local news headlines, as I believe he played for OU. I know he plays for a professional team now, though I couldn't tell whether it is for the Redskins or the Rams. Even given this basic level of familiarity with the words in the sentence, I realize I have no idea what Joel means by the comparison he makes. Sports talk - it's another language.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 27, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Gotta be frank, Mr. A. The "pity the mediocre sports team town fan" shtick is older'n pro sports. I rate this installment at about 25 outta 100. Better'n some, worser'n most.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Gotta be frank, Mr. A. The "pity the mediocre sports team town fan" shtick is older'n pro sports. I rate this installment at about 25 outta 100. Better'n some, worser'n most.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Castles built of/on sand can only result in a level playing field and a hand full of sand.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

kguy, I would hasten to add that I always liked McNabb at Syracuse and as an Eagle.

I respect a class act, and his part in dealing with and overcoming a lot of crap tossed his way over the course of his career - being dealt by Philly, nonsense from Rush Limbaugh and Terell Owens, and was supportive when the Eagles brought in Mike Vick (no matter what he may have thought of him personally).

He seems to be a good guy and a good leader, and I'm glad to have him playing here.


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Apologies for the "moveable type" double post.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Best to regard pro football as I do, something to fill a little time before college basketball starts. Although I have to admire the Vikings for holding fast to the purple and gold. While other teams responded to being big time losers by redesigning their uniforms in new, trendier, colors the Vikes continue to get grown men to wear bright sparkle pony purple (not deep bruise purple)and yellow (they call it gold, but it's not)with yellow yarn braids flowing from their hats. It's our seasonal exercise in mass psychosis. Could Jess Ventura have been governor if election day were not during football season? I think not.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 27, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

RNM, as long as you're playing cliche 52-pick up, don't forget to mention bread and circuses, the Coloseum, Christians and Lions, etc.


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

As a part time Tampan, aren't you a little nostalgic for some orange Bruce The Pirate throwback uniforms?

My son's school was built about the same time the Ravens came into existence, so they chose purple as their primary school color. While it made getting spirit wear in the Bawlmer area easy (Sonny's used to stock purple camo hunting pants), I now have a drawer full of purple clothes I really can't wear anywhere unless I am going to a tailgate party in Federal Hill.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

My mom was in her regular seat at a Redskin game two weeks before I was born, so I guess I've been following them for a really, really long time.

In my memory, they have always been disappointing--except for a few years in the 80s. And Washingtonians who really knew their team, never really relaxed during the brief Winning Period because we knew it wouldn't last.

I think one thing can explain the good years: a good owner. Jack Kent Cooke may have been a first-class glassbowl, but he was our glassbowl and he apparently knew how to own a football team.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 27, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

yello, so why keep em?

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Seinfeld famously said that in sports you are really cheering for laundry. That is, you are cheering for the uniform. But this, I believe, misses the point.

The fundamental relationship upon with sports fanaticism is based is not between the fan and the team, it is between a fan and other fans.
You aren't cheering for the team as much as you are taking part in a communal celebration with like-minded individuals. Or, as is more common around here, group commiseration.

In either case it's all about group dynamics. Friends amplify the joy when the team wins, and help soften the blow when the team loses.

All of which is why it is often so difficult to maintain allegiance to a team once one has moved from the area. There typically aren't enough other fans around to make it fun.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 27, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Must be tough when there's no coffee ready first thing on a rainy Monday morning. People and institutions do change for the better. Maybe not all, but for every LiLo who can't learn the most basic lesson there's a Nicole Richie getting her act together and leading a productive life. For every losing season under Snyder, there's a winning one under JK Cooke. It may come in fits and starts, but eventually even the Saints win a Superbowl and the Red Sox win the Series. Yes, some comments here would lead you to believe people don't change for the better (good morning RNM), but if we didn't have hope, we'd never leave the house.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 27, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, bc... I have always like McNabb--and always loved Randall Cunningham.

I used to think Cunningham would find his way into a Redskin uniform. He just seemed like the kind of guy who would be perfect playing for Joe Gibbs.

I'm thrilled Donovan McNabb is a Redskin. I think he's got talent and a lot of class.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 27, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Good post LiT. Sports are also a nice diversion from life in general, as long as one can manage not to live and die by the team's performance (spoken as a Red Sox fan). ;-)

Posted by: badsneakers | September 27, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

People leave the house?

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

yello, if I add a huge pile of NY Giants garb and paraphernalia (about to be defenestrated) to your purple stash ... well, we could hold a virtual yard sale. I bet other boodlers have items they'd like to contribute - but we get a 10% cut if we provide the table and signs with arrows. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

My sister handed down to us a bunch of sports-related clothing from her kids' (and my kids') high school. Some of it was baseball related, as her son played Varsity and my kids weren't interested in it and it didn't fit me. The nicest stuff (some was pretty expensive and looked brand new), I took to the school.

The admin I spoke with said she'd make sure to pass it along to some of the kids who couldn't afford it. We may live in a high-rent district, but there are plenty of families who can't afford a pricey jacket or sweatshirt. One family she had in mind had just arrived from a refuge camp in Kuwait.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I certainly have empathy for the notion of expecting mediocrity when it comes to being a sports fan. It is better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. And such pessimism is fairly benign because the success or failure of a sports team is really not determined by your mental state. Oh, sure, if nobody watches or attends a game, then a franchise is sunk. But what goes on in your head while sitting on the couch is really pretty moot. Magical thinking doesn't really work.

The problem, as I see it, is when this attitude permeates areas in which your mental state really does matter. Assuming that, say, your child will always fail is, in general, not a productive parenting technique. Nor is going into a new relationship fully expecting that this person is a loser like all the rest. Self fulfilling prophecies, in such cases, are all too common. Your attitude really can influence the outcome of such intimate personal relationships far more than it can alter the trajectory of a kicked football.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 27, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Can't we make sports more political? How about a discussion about the most successful major sports league... the communist football league. We can couple that with how mightily the capitalist baseball league is struggling in much of the country.

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks sneaks. While I'm a DC girl at heart and still root for the Skins, I'm also a Steelers fan, a Saints fan, a Miami fan, and a really big fan of any team playing either the Giants or the Cowboys.

YJ, I was at a tailgate party in Bawlmer yesterday. Someone's still carrying those purple camo pants. Also, did you know if you skip breakfast and have two plastic pony bottles of wine before noon you'd get totally smashed? I do now.

Off to crunch numbers (they really do need to all fit into this one box a bit better). Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute... Rams? St. Louis, the City of Rock-hard Abs (based on its geographic relationship to the City of Broad Shoulders), city of cattle stockyards and major transshipment port for cows and cow-flesh heading towards doom and a dinner-plate up and down the Mississippi, that city's football team is nicknamed the Rams?

This is part of what is wrong with the world.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Expect mediocrity" is the mantra of astronomers, Joel. We value it so much, we have made a principle out of mediocrity. We call it the Mediocrity Principle. As principles go, it's pretty mediocre, which is why we gave it such a distinguished name, to help boost its spirits.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

As long as you made it home safely.

Which is more socialist? Baseball with its anti-trust exemption or football with revenue sharing and salary caps? Or hockey just because most of the teams are from Canukistan?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

front page alert.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This is the worst comment section I've ever read.

Posted by: Aerowaz | September 27, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually, yello, most of the NHL teams are located in 'Merika.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse


f/k/a the LA Rams which didn't make much sense either. I don't associate horned livestock with Los Angeles.

St. Louis Arches? Gateways? River Rats? Twains? Bushes?

We have previously determined that the Utah Jazz is the least appropriate sports nickname ever.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If it's the St. Louis Arches, I'd say they've fallen a bit.

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

FROM Canukistan. Just part of the invasion. They are slow but insidious.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The St. Louis Cattle?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Insidious indeed as we have now enlisted the aid of Russians, Swedes, Finns, Czechs, and an assortment of others. :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

You think you got it bad in DC. Try being a 49er fan. All pumped up with a 4-0 pre-season. Playoffs guaranteed by winning the weakest division. Three games in and in last place in the weakest division playing Falcons and Eagles next.

Posted by: bh72 | September 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

IIRC, the Jazz started out in New Orleans. Why I know that, I have no idea.

I'm not much of a sports fan, except for basketball. However, I am glad we have sports and glad that people are fans. Sports satisfy some primal human urge for winning and belonging. Much better than waging war.

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap -- D.C. United may win more games than the Chesepeake Watershed Region Indigenous Persons!

Posted by: bs2004 | September 27, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

While we are lowering our expectations, let's also lower the amount of money we spend for the private gain of professional sports. Schools and youth activities are a much better investment.

Posted by: vmax02rider | September 27, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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

Good afternoon, friends. The power went out this morning, and then it would stay on for a little while and go back out. Just got the computer up and running.

JA, your kit kind of goes along with the day, wet and slightly chilly. I know how you feel though, yet we can't give up. I used to be that way about the basketball team here(when they were the Hornets) and the Panthers.

You make a good point, Slyness. Is it wet up your way? Plenty of water here, and gray skies. Just one of those days where it's better to be in bed. On my way to pick up the g-girl.

Have a good day, folks, and lots of love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 27, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The St. Louis Rams were first the Cleveland Rams and then the LA Rams before they moved to Archville, Mo. The name was chosen as a homage to the Fordham University mascot because the first owner had a Fordham connection.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Rams began play in Cleveland -- yes, Cleveland! -- in 1937; I believe they may have been named in honor of Fordham University, then a national football power (hard to believe, but true). The franchise moved to Los Angeles after the 1945 season (after beating the Redskins in the NFL championship game), then to St. Louis after the '94 season.

BTW, speaking of 1945, that was the most recent summer a Washington baseball team was in an honest-to-goodness pennant race, as the Senators lost out to the Detroit Tigers. Since I don't expect much from the 2011 Nationals (though they are making slow but steady progress, with several nice young players), it means D.C. will likely go at least two-thirds of a century without experiencing significant September baseball (unless you could the hanging-on-gamely Nats' attempt for the wild-card in 2005). Taking out the 33 summers without a team, that's nearly as long as the Cleveland Indians' drought between 1959 and 1995. Trouble is, I sense there are still more Red Sox fans than Nats fans in D.C.; curse you, Ivy Leaguers!

Posted by: VPaterno | September 27, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and for you Woody Strode fans, WS starred at UCLA and played briefly for the LA Rams in the post war era. Injury ended his athletic career and compelled him to pursue movie work full time.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 27, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

So how many pro sports teams has Cleveland lost? Other than New York, what has had the most renegades and turncoats? Milwaukee has lost the Brewers/Braves a couple of times and DC has a hard time keeping Senators on the field. And LA has had no pro football teams in what, a decade and a half?

To lose one team may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh yello, you're so earnest today!

Posted by: kguy1 | September 27, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Faculty I knew at Penn State are retired. So are students. Paterno is still coaching.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

It is funny you say that, yello. There is currently a little controversy in Montreal (I think fomented by the press, so really artificial) over the paltry number of Francophone Quebecers on the team. When I heard about it, my first thought was the rationale that almost all the NHL teams are stuffed to gills with such players. Francophone hockey players are a major Canadian export.

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Aerowaz | September 27, 2010 11:32 AM

All is not lost, drive-by blogs can be very entertaining, ignorance makes the the best word garden.

The old Bats rose out of h*ll again last night headed straight for Senator 'make my day one more time, buy my fam's and friend's once pristine environmental preserve, it's our land and we need cash now!' Harry Greid. Apparently Senators can be hotties as long as they're Democrats, but you can't say that (ok to rape and pillage BLM land, tho'). Let's expand the anal exam for everybody not just new, Hot Republican Women. Fair is fair, right guys(dudes) and dolls(babes)?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse make it short: inclusion and ignorance can be a good thing.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone in France (including parts of France around the Caribbean and off the Newfoundland coast) play baseball?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I wish planeloads of football-starved Los Angeles people were flying to Jacksonville for satisfaction.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

DotC, yes. France has a national baseball team that competes internationally, though not particularly well. There are also amateur leagues.

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, French baseball sounds wonderful.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

For a time we despised not the team, not the players: the owner of the team.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Just looking for appropriate comments here, do any of you dudes have jobs?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

One of the reasons the level of play is low is that it is difficult to pitch and hit while juggling a cell phone and a lit cigarette.

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -dbG- | September 27, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

That was answering RNM.

How about you, RNM?

Posted by: -dbG- | September 27, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think that's funny, since RNM has posted second most frequently today.

Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The troule is, everyone thought they looked good the first two weeks, and the fact is, they pretty much sucked. They gave up 906 yards in the first two games. There are contstantly opposing team players in the corner or back of the end zone WIDE OPEN. They're opponents fared better in virtually every other category that counts. The defense is horrendous so far. I haven't bothered to look and see where they're ranked defensively, but it's got to be at the bottom. new coaches, new QBs, every couple of years and they still suck. Boswell's article was right on. All of the shows yesterday were talking about what's going to happen next week. Gee, I can't figure it out. next week will be the Michael Vick show, and I will be in no way surprised if he has the best day of his career. Actually, it's what I expect. Our opponents can hold up a sign that says "we're going long" and they's STILL complete the pass. We can't stop anybody when it counts. On third down, even if it's third and 90, and when the game is on the line. They're mediocre at best, they were horrible yesterday. Am I still a fan? Will I still root for them? Yes, always, but they sure don't make it easy or fun most of the time.

Posted by: red2million | September 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Shame you can't give up the team as easily as giving away the associated clothes.

In many ways, fandom seems like a bad relationship.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

From what I got from the little French TV I watch Spain and Italy are the baseball powerhouses of Europe, with France a distant third.
The French pro baseball teams have the right to a small number of "imports" as player/coaches. French-speaking Canadians are popular candidates but there are Latino guys and even murricans as well. The pay is low enough that most of the players must have a second job to survive but the teams usually help their players to find something. One of the big star, Joris Bert, got a signing bonus of 25 000 euros + 800 euros a month when he signed with the Rouen Huskies after being let go by the Dodgers. Yes, those Dodgers.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I have been a 'skins fan for a really long time. I have had some pretty heady years but mostly disappointment and heartache. I stopped living and dying with the burgundy and gold years ago as I just couldn't take the mood swings. I quit not because I care less but because they seem to care less.

Posted by: theduck6 | September 27, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

DC sports still have a way to go before they reach the level of pessimism I experienced as a Seattle Mariner's fan in the early 1980s. Back then they used to highlight the opposing teams. "Come see those great Yankees play the Mariners" the ads would proclaim. Our team was just filler.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 27, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This article could put Joel out of business.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, theduck6 -- if even the green rookies are paid 7 figures for sitting on the bench, or for playing maybe 5-10 minutes, where is the incentive to do *anything* to win? I'd love to see a sports business model, where the players are paid only when they win, and the owners aren't paid unless or until the championship is won by said team.

All that money left over gets to go to the schools and teachers, who are paid bupkis in comparison. (If you don't know what that means, look it up)

Posted by: ftb3 | September 27, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

dbG, Yup!

Fun to come out of the loom tomb and get an edge-u-ma-cation on team sports right here on ... "the worst comment section I've ever read." *snort*

Love y'all. Back to work.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 27, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Yello, that article, oh how true! Maybe Mudge can weigh in on how we can make journalism less formulaic and predictable...

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I like it, yello. Especially the Yakawow. It also makes me think of what a "scientist" is. I know the article isn't about that, but it made me think of it. When I was doing R&D my nephews said something about "scientists" and it suddenly occurred to me to say "Well, I'M a scientist, you know." My brother sputtered, but then said, well, I guess you really are. Nephews suitably impressed.

This is what led me to put on my profile "scientist." It's tongue & cheek, but I bet few discern that from the face of it.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Once upon a time, fair readers, the U of Iowa had a reliably mediocre football team. It was possible for the average Joe to get tickets to the games and have a relaxing good time, secure in the knowledge that hope was futile.

Then the Powers decided that a winning team was necessary for the prestige of the institution and the gifts of alumni. They brought in a winning coach from one of those regions where football IS religion. They subjected us to hearing the mayor "singing" the Fight Song on the radio. The team record began to improve. Ticket sales boomed. Soon you couldn't get anywhere near the center of town on football Saturdays as 60,000 fans invaded, overwhelming the resident population. Visiting the bar district became hazardous the evening after a game.

Having a winning football team is IMHO, over-rated.

Posted by: j3hess | September 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Mudge is out sailing the high seas with his misus. Not sure if he'll be back in time to see his beloved Iggles play the Skins.

For my money's worth, I care as much about any professional sports as they care about me. Got plenty of other things to get wrapped around the axle over. When my girls were younger, it confused the daylights out of them to see their mom yelling at the TV, and their dad puttering in the kitchen, or the car.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | September 27, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

That sounds similar to the home I grew up in Don, Mom loved many sports, and was an enthusiastic fan whether watching in person or on TV.

My dad did enjoy some sports but rarely stopped puttering long enough to watch an entire event, until the internet then he learned to multitask!

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The most memorable of my childhood houses was in Iowa City. Early split-level with about seven levels. A Writer, a real one, had worked in a shack in the back.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi Don! *waving madly at computer screen*

My local NFL team has never referred to me as a 'valued customer' or that my 'business is important' to them.

That's why I'm soooooooo much more loyal to my bank, my cell phone provider, and the etail outlet where I bought socks for MrJS. That personal touch really helps.

*removing tongue from cheek*

Posted by: MsJS | September 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It's all about Owners. Little Danny is not a Football Guy and never will be. The Lerners may very well end up being no better than Little Danny. The Cooke Family should have kept ownership of the 'Skins, but Little Danny threatened lawsuits and generally bullied his way to ownership in the manner of Veruca Salt.....The other owners have no respect for Little Danny and the 'Skins are doomed to mediocrity.....Little Danny has to learn you can't buy respect, you have to earn it and when it comes to the capital needed to earn respect, Little Danny is broke.

Posted by: jmccas | September 27, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, I forgot about Mudge being on a cruise! He and Mrs. Mudge are having a fabulous time, I'm sure.

MsJS, you are right about being "valued," but I certainly prefer to be smiled at while I'm receiving prompt service, than otherwise. I am glad that customer service is a value for some organizations.

Posted by: slyness | September 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, slyness and Don, et al. The cruise isn't until next week. The ship leaves from NYC at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, which means, yes, I shall miss the Iggles/Redskins debacle. Perhaps that's a good thing.

The problem with journalism isn't that it's predictable and formulaic; its that it has completely lost its focus and its business model. I don't believe it can be saved (it could have at one time, but we are well past it.) We are going to enter the Dark Ages Part II in the next century. It's Canticle for Liebowitz time, in my view.

Oh, Yoki, I would sooooooooo love to umpire a French baseball game! I fear my profanity skills in that language are not up to par (jusqu'au pair, as we like to say, although it might be jusqu'au le par) but I'd kill to have somebody get in my face so I could scream, "Vous êtes hors d'ici!" at him.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 27, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I love the French language. Especially to curse with. It's like wiping your arse with silk.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Je vais te casser la figure!

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels – bring home for Emma.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 27, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Just looking for appropriate comments here, do any of you dudes have jobs?

Y'all aren't DUIT'ing are you?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I just ran "Just looking for appropriate comments here, do any of you dudes have jobs?" through the Troll to English babelfish translator and got:


Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Back to work, yello!

Posted by: -dbG- | September 27, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

On the home page, there's picture of a very somber looking Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards on two stories: one about the basketball team and the other about Placido Domingo not renewing his position with the Washington National Opera. I didn't realize Arenas was such an opera fan!

Posted by: -pj- | September 27, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The one I've heard is "Dehors!" Mudge. Pronounced Deh-hoar or Deh-waar, the latter being incomprehensible to the real French. I've only seen parents being expelled/expulsé from a soccer or baseball game, never a player or coach.
Which is funny as dehors means outside and soccer/baseball is played outside. But "se faire mettre dehors"/ being put outside is very clear: you are out of here.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Nothing personal, dude

A rose by any other name would be a cauliflower.....

WE have been voluntarily retired by the Dethugmocrats Liberation Economic Theology. Also known as un-funny-employment, brought to US by the ever optimistic Czar of Bi-Bi-Partisan Mayhem (you're going to love this) Joseph Robinette (this is a big ***king deal) Bite-me (your jobs are never coming back and/or getting any better in this life-time) Biden.

Thugmocrat Tax Cut: What are you complaining about, we are making sure you all will pull in less obscene, greedy, uncompassionate wages, especially rich people, maybe 20% less. Why, that's a 20% tax cut. When we get done with y'all, you will be paying way less taxes. Just be patient!

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

But it just sounds so d@mned eloquent in French, Shriek.

Speaking of which, I got to talk with a colleague in Paris today (France, not Kentucky, and *certainly* not Texas). We've known each other for maybe 25 years or so. Very sweet guy. Had to talk with him about various persnicketies attendant to arbitration in his fair city under ICC rules (International Chamber of Commerce). I just like to listen to him parler anglais, which is soooooo much better than my français, alors.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 27, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I am in possession of the French Insult Nuclear Option. It's too dangerous for the Boodle. It is the result of a collaboration between a Texan and a Parisian. But not in Paris, Texas. Texas A&M, actually.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember the movie "Nell"? Jodie Foster. Liam Neeson. Whenever someone speaks Rushese I think of that movie.

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Yoki | September 27, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice that it is HOT in California? 113 in LA, 110 San Luis Obispo, 103 in St. Helena. The whole coast had a way below normal summer and current forecasts seem to be for summer to start *now*.

Posted by: nellie4 | September 27, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Coastal California seems to have summer in October--good time to visit San Francisco, which reputedly comes out of its summer fog blanket. Also fire season.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Very pleasant here on the other part of the left coast. 86F but the dew point is only 30, You know the yj version of the RH
Glad the heat is staying on the other side of the Siskiyous. Forecast to stay that way

Posted by: bh72 | September 27, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"Du bist hier raus!"

For some invective and so forth, I just prefer the throatier accents of German.

Posted by: j3hess | September 27, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

yello, that science writing bit from the Guardian is great.

Had a couple of LOLs when I checked the links at the end. I always enjoyed doing that kind of stuff, too.

RNM, three or four too many Adderalls with scotch 7 nights per week is a bad situation, dude. Perhaps you could hork up a few characters on-Kit instead of quasi-political gibberish, maybe something nice about the late, great George Blanda?


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Asking for something on-kit is a little unfair, given how often the rest of us stray. But maybe something tangentially related to some subject that someone has discussed, that is open to discussion, rather than merely being an unanswerable declaration?

(I'll assume the "have we got jobs" thing was intended to be rhetorical.)

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

يرجى السماح للالبراغيث من الإبل ألف لتسلق ساقك

בבקשה לאפשר את הפרעושים של אלף גמלים לטפס ברגל שלך

Traia as pulgas de mil camelos para escalar súa perna

Féadfaidh na dreancaidí ó aon mhíle camels Nestle i do groin

Μπορούν οι ψύλλοι από χίλιες καμήλες φωλιάσει στη βουβωνική χώρα

S'il vous plaît permettre les puces d'un millier de chameaux pour monter votre jambe

Ве молиме овозможи на болви на илјадници камили да се искачи ногатаPor favor, permita

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I just watched a forum on the issues between the two folks vying for my US house seat.

I am on the fence. I noticed tonight that the GOP candidate is pretty much the spitting image of Kent Dorfman. That alone might put him in the lead.

If he wore a beanie he could clinch my vote.

Am I wrong on this?

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Yup, that's what I had in mind!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't thought of checking the links. They are great.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 27, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

That is funny baldinho, and yes there is a definite resemblance.

We currently are in the midst of municipal elections, our current mayor is a major d*ck, sorry no other description is as apt. I was at a loss as to who to vote for knowing little about the other candidates - then I saw a poster for one of the mayoral candidates, who has a wonderful greek, name which reminded me of the fantastic TBG, a quick check of the candidates website/policy - nothing frightening. I may have made my selection.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 27, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

No, I think not. I'd consider voting for Flounder; I'll see you that far. But Guinta, no. Not in a thousand years. There is no excuse whatsioever voting for any shade of Republican, not this year, anyway. Some years I can see it...maybe, in extremis). It's like thinking about for Christine O'Donnell because she's so darn cute and perky when she's talking about how nasty spanking the monkey is.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 27, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, excuuuuse me....

Guess it's OUR imagination there isn't anything more important than spending the next 2 years, Retiring, Reforming, and Removing every single one of the Public Servants from the H*ll responsible for the domestic terrorism being carried out from OUR houses on the Hill and at the bottom of the Hill that has bulldozed 50% of OUR Prosperity Generator into the Black-Hole of collectivism, the likes of which FDR, and Stalin only dreamed of. You think this is extremism? Too many 7 highs? Read Alinski's "Rules for Radicals". Soon America, not down, but sure out $15,000,000,000,000, will be learning the 3 R's all over again.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 27, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Generally, when I'm pondering issues of New Hampshire politics, I ask myself, "What would Christine Martinsen think?"

But you're right, that's Flounder. In the absence of compelling reasons to look elsewhere, he'd probably have my vote.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I have a job for you, Bob S

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 27, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

RichNomore... Well, removing the public servants who haven't served you well is indeed important. But no matter who's sitting at the seat of power, you/we had better have some idea what we wish for them to do.

Because when they start making it up on their own, it gets a leetle bit crazy.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I am torn in that race. I have never been a fan of Shea-Porter, though I voted for her twice. Both times the GOP candidate was a bit of a nebbish.

Guinta has been a GOP operative since he got out of college, which raises a warning flag. However, his one run as an elected official was as a mayor, and he wasn't terrible.

He seems to be a bit of a company man, which is troublesome when the company is run by Mitch and John. He also has an affinity for hanging out in bars with questionable folks. He doesn't seem to run from that aspect, though, which at least shows that he can be genuine.

What I want out of Republicans now is proof that they actually will do things that will help out... and not just follow directions. Guinta is at best so so to me on that front.

It is a rare person that goes to the House as a freshman and does anything other than fit in, kiss butt and wait for a plum assignment.

I am on the fence.

Ditto with the Senate race in NH. I have voted both for and against Hodes in the past. Ayotte seems very malleable, and has been an uninspiring candidate.

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

baldi - Your analysis of Guinta is very similar to my thoughts that led me to vote for Bush in 2000. I'd been in Texas when he was elected governor (I didn't vote for him then), and he wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared.

I wasn't real happy with the way that all worked out. But like Obama, Bush had a lot of crappy stuff on his plate pretty early on.

I can figure out a way to deal with almost anybody who seems to be actually trying to solve problems and isn't totally committed to bullshi++ing me all day, every day.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

BobS, RNM was kvetching earlier about appropriate comments -- figured he was looking for something on Kit, instead of paranoid babbling with a veneer of cat walking on keyboard and ISO character tricks.

yello, I checked those links as soon as I noticed them, because I'd have done something like that, too. Snortworthy.

Went with the Bears at home on Monday Night -- I may be wrong about that.


Posted by: -bc- | September 27, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't the gummint that got us into the economic mess we're in - not the current gummint, anyway. It was Wall Street, with little to no regulation from the government, followed by gutless CEO's who panicked and laid off as many people as they could.

baldinho, I implore you not to vote Republican this year. Even if they seem harmless.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I voted for Bush in 2000 also. I was disappointed. When push came to shove, he was pushed and shoved by the parts of the party I don't take kindly to.

Posted by: baldinho | September 27, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Biden in NH:

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Bob, what crappy stuff did Bush have on his plate? Budget surpluses? Oh yeah, those terrorist attacks were a bummer, and as Condi said, who could have imagined? Guess I can see how Bush had no choice but to invade Iraq and not pay for it or Afghanistan. Not.

The only thing that comforts me about the horrible lunacy of the Bush presidency is that it most likely got Obama elected. That's the only good that came out of it.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

RNm bothers me only because sheit is a one-noter, to wit: Current government policies aren't good and the boodle commenters are stupid/ignorant/apathetic because we don't seem to realize that fact.

Leaving aside the fact that it's factually incorrect, it gets old.

Personally, I'm often amused by the creatively bizarre ways in which RNm plays that note. But it is, after all, the same note every time. Even Picasso & Bobby Vinton didn't try to make entire careers out of their "blue period" work.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Well gosh, seasea, I wouldn't casually dismiss the crappiness of those terrorist attacks. As bummers go, they were rather traumatic.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I was being sarcastic, of course, Bob. Bush managed to take the national, even international, unity and goodwill that came after the attacks and squander it. He was a totally inept president, the worst, because he had no idea how to govern. At best he was a puppet, at worst a cynic who waged war to stay in power. This was not a surprise to me, although the fact that he got elected in 2004 was.

Sorry - the thought of Republicans gaining more power is depressing to me. Especially after they've shown themselves to be interested only in helping the rich get richer.

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

As examples of how emotionally powerful, I'll offer two anecdotes:

A couple of months after the 9/11 attacks, a guy with whom I was acquainted got so upset with me that it took a great deal of self-restraint on his part (and a good bit of urging on his wife's part) to calm himself short of physical interaction with me when I wouldn't let go of the point that there was no evidence at all that the Iraqi government was involved with those attacks.

And moments ago, seasea got rather exercised at the notion that a president (who's been out of office for the better part of two years, but for whom she has some bitter memories) might have had some tough stuff to deal with in the aftermath of those attacks.

Heck, Mudge won't even consider voting for Flounder!!

I know we all do the best we can, but it ain't always "fair & balanced".

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I will (gently, I hope) point out that refusing to consider voting for candidates who represent a particular political party (on that basis alone) is a recipe for extremism.

Yes, I get that big-picture (is that hyphen O.K.?) politics requires some thought to House & Senate majorities, and all kinds of other crap. But quite frankly, I'd feel a little dirty in my soul if I refused to vote for a candidate whom I respected strictly on the basis of party politics. So I try not to do that.

I was never a good union man, or a dependable member of any church congregation, for similar reasons.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Too much of me.

Posted by: Bob-S | September 27, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

BobS, you are an adorable tricksy #@!$!:-), but you have to admit almost two years is nowhere close to enough, no?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 27, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I spent election night 2000 with friends in Portland, Oregon, watching the local news from whence I'd just come.

Looks like a minimal hurricane or tropical storm or non-tropical storm might head north from Cuba over the Atlantic in the next few days.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 27, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

It's a point that's been made a million times, but until Dan Snyder either dies or sells the team, the Redskins will forever be living under a curse. The Nats will win the World Series before any team of Snyder's ever wins a Super Bowl.

Posted by: andym108 | September 27, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that, DNA_Girl!

Bob, I'd agree, except that Republicans have shown themselves to be more interested in helping themselves than helping the country for quite some time. They tried to destroy Clinton, and are trying to destroy Obama, quite openly. I don't think they really think he is Hitler or a socialist or somehow both, but they are willing to sell that idea so they stay in power. They scare the bejeebers out of me.

There was a time, when I was young, when there were some Republicans who were trying to help regular people. Haven't seen any in a long, long, long time.

As W would say:
"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

Posted by: seasea1 | September 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I feel deeply sorry for RichNoMore. At the same time, it is easy to ignore it. That's a suggestion!

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009

And someone actually voted for this guy?
Oh, yeah ... the hanging chads.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I opened the local newspaper a while ago and I read about livestock auctions and farm equipment, crop forecasts. I did not know good used beet trucks came so cheaply.

I'm glad that stuff hasn't become 24/7 mass media for blowhards to spout on endlessly.

Gardens, families, jobs, and community service and quality of life (health, transportation, crime) all matter in life, and so is a sense of having a future for your family and the freedom to be enlightened-- free libraries, schools, freedom of religion, freedom of survival.

Let us also not forget Safe, clean water. Sanition. Tracking down disease and stopping epidemics before they begin. Clear, good roads. In short, all the unsexy things that make modern civilization sustainable and not the chaos of mediveal feudalism. Those are in our hands, at the township, city, county, and state levels.

Anybody who tries to destroy those things in the name of budgets, paranoia, partisanship and such are commmiting great sins against our civilization itself.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, this is for you.

I so wish I had closed captioning for Wilbrod.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I'm so glad you're here.
Wish I were a poet so I could write that more betterish. ;)

Meanwhile, I have a question for boodlers and am sincerely asking for your opinions and suggestions. Now that I'm living alone, (no parrot in the house, thank the heavens!) I'm considering letting a cat or two own me once again. And therein lies the question. One or two?

I've always adored the Maine Coon breed (once lived with a half-breed of same) but I feel that the best thing to do is go to a shelter and adopt a couple of siblings who'd enjoy living their lives together. I should also add that I feel cats should be "indoor-outdoor", so any advice you give me should take that into consideration. (I know a lot of folks don't feel cats should roam, even on a very rural farm such as where I live.)

So, any thoughts?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Ya, no.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Yoki! Merci, ma soeur.

Maybe I should adopt some dragonflies instead, huh? Or a couple of frogs. 8)~

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Feral cat colonies are huge problems for some conservation lands. A good example would be Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which apart from crocs, has endangered rodents that fall prey to cats. Key Largo woodrats need a common name that disassociates them from the rats that follow people around (like the ones in Ratouille).

Cats also kill lots of songbird in residential areas.

As best I can tell, many rural areas have outdoor cats, regardless, so that adding one or two or a dozen doesn't change things much.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 28, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

dear Talitha, the thing is, when you have even one Maine Coon ("Bear") it is a full-time job to groom him/her.

Maybe that's good for you.

I loved the 3 lb. Cat. A big fat cat.

It was hilarious when this 3 lb. cat landed on my chest in the middle of the night and sucked the breath out of me. Terribly sweet that one.

I'm just sayin', be ready for a high-maintenance cat; a Maine Coon, that you must groom every-single-freakin'-day, to avoid dreadful mats.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Dave, I know cats kill songbirds ... I "cultivate" every songbird native to this area. Cardinals, finches, nuthatches, wrens, downy and pilated woodpeckers, you name it ..... they all come to my feeders and suetblocks in all seasons. And many cats, farmhouse variety, not feral, also inhabit the general area along with the skunks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, deer and occasional *gasp* bear.

I understand, truly.
I really hadn't thought of acquiring a cat or two (being "owned by" as I call it) until just this afternoon. So my query is more along the lines of ... am I right to seek some companionship of the animal variety in a suddenly empty home?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Sucked by a Maine Coon. Would that make a good boodle nomen, or whatever the heck y'all call them?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

No. Of course I'm gone. 'bye Boodle.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, ya read me wrong. Ah, well.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't think so, I love you.

Posted by: Yoki | September 28, 2010 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Cued Speech, a technique new to me. I'd be especially interested in Wilbrod's thoughts or experiences. (I love the many ways that we reach out to one another ... using the best tools and means that we know or develop.)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I love you, too, dear heart!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Here is what the GOP is up against in getting my vote. My memory.

Amongst the pundits (though he is not en vogue or never really was...more of a backbencher) Christopher Buckley is the one I seem to have the most in common with.

This piece of his made me stand up and cheer a while back. I read it every once in a while to remember why I generally turned away from the GOP a few years back.

He did too, at least briefly, in October 2008. His reasons, as he stated here, were the same reasons I did. Those reasons are only more evident now.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Uh, Bob, you have seriously misquoted me. My 9:16: "I'd consider voting for Flounder; I'll see you that far. But Guinta, no. Not in a thousand years."

Baldo, to consider voting for the GOP, you'd have to fundamentally agree that you are either a Conservative, or believe reasonably strongly in major Conserv positions. Do you? because I doubt it, and I certainly hope not. It's not just about "fiscal conservatism" (which is a joke, but even if it wasn't...) there's all the attendent crap that goes with it: anti-choice, inflicting evangelical religion all over the place, all that "family values" horses--- and hypocrisy, blind support for two wars, blind support for Big Pharma, Big Banks, Wall Street, etc., plus intent to massively downsize government, etc. C'mon, get real. Do you realluy want to abolish the Dept. of Education and the EPA? Do you want decreased inspections and regulations of major industries?

Jeez, man.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

I was not aware of this piece by CBuckley until doing a "what has he been doing lately" search on google.

Christopher Buckley, you scare me in a "Single White Female" way. Get out of my head!

From before the 2008 election cycle.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, part of it has to do with the theory of divided government.

With Obama as President, none of the worst of the GOP ideas would ever get passed. With the GOP holding at least 45 seats in the Senate, none of the worst of the Dem ideas would ever get passed. That scenario has been in place when much of the decent stuff has occurred lately.

When that happens, you know what gets passed? Things that generally most folks agree on. Shocking!

I don't think MY vote will swing anything nationally. Heck, it won't swing anything statewide. I could joke that it rarely swings anything in my own household.

I have reservations about Guinta. When I have voted for the GOP in the past, it has typically been for the Northeast version. I dunno if Guinta is that version. If not, he has no shot at my vote.

I will entertain the thought, though.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse


Chris Buckley was right on the money. I was once suckered by the phrase 'compassionate conservative'. I thought there were ways to combat social ills that relied upon the resilience of the people rather than the size of the government. I had a delusional faith in strong equal education. I felt direct payments to individuals was the easy way out when what was needed were investments in our human capital.

Then I saw that it was all bait and switch. That No Child Left Behind was an unfunded camel nose designed to give zealots a pathway into the classroom. That energy independence was going to come at the cost of our resources rather than our ingenuity.

And then came the World Trade Center attack. Audacious, outrageous, and simply purely evil. It gave us the moral high ground to take on people diametrically opposed to our core ideals: tolerance, freedom, equality. Instead we used it as a cynical excuse to settle scores and make land grabs for corporate interests with the blood of our servicemen.

It was the drumbeat to war that was the final straw. I just couldn't believe how thin the 'evidence' was and how determined we were to have a second go at Saddam no matter what the cost, in material and in lives but mostly in moral capital.

And when I saw the first picture from Abu Ghraib I knew we had lost. We could build all the schools and hospitals we wanted, but we would never achieve the goals we should have been working on. We had been defeated by the only people who could, ourselves.

I'm still trying to find the historical metaphor for what the Bush Administration did to our country. The complete reversal of the path of an empire in a single decade is unprecedented. By taking an unprecedented unprovoked tragedy and using as a casus belli to provoke a billion people. By not only letting foxes into the henhouse, but using the henhouse itself as a cooking fire. By trashing the economy so thoroughly and completely that it will take over a decade to recover, if ever. All so Masters of the Universe can fleece the public for bigger bonuses.

I don't think I agree with everything Obama believes and stands for, but I have yet to find an issue I am opposed to his policies on. Tighter regulations for those who have proven untrustworthy. More freedom for people, particularly those who serve our country, to live their lives without outside moralism. A better firmer healthier base for society to grow healthy productive citizens.

And I am appalled by the astroturfed mobs roused by amoral billionaires. The idiocy of the masses stuns me. At one time conservatism was an intellectual pursuit that could mostly be faulted for being naive about human nature. Now it has abandoned all philosophical pretense and just panders to the basest vices of greed and hatred.

I am yellojkt and I am a RINO.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Standing O, Yello. Heck of a way to start a Tuesday morning.

Talitha, the Geekdottir had a friend at church who was born with severe hearing impairment. Her family has used cued speech all her life. She graduated from college on time and is working as a stable manager, horses being her passion. That's success, IMHO.

Good morning all. Cool and cloudy in the Carolinas this morning; it was a perfect day for a walk. Now, onward!

Cassandra, I hope you are well this morning and have a good day!

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, yes to the cats, yes to two siblings from a shelter, ambivilence on the Maine Coon (tho I luv 'em!), no to indoor-outdoor. If they go out at all, they're outdoor, with all the attendant needs for regular shots, etc.

And it's horribly annoying when the radar image lies to you. "LIES, I say," as he continued squeegeeing his clothes, shoes, hair, etc.

*tap-dancing-through-a-Tuesday-despite-heel-blisters-from-new-running-shoes Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Yjk -- A+ for the extemporaneous speech. That was due next week; did you complete your book report yet? Looking forward to that.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Joel is back on the BP beat.

Guess what? The first guesses at the oil flow rate were really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really wrong.

Whoda thunk?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

BRAVO yellojkt! Yes... a GREAT way to start a Tuesday.

I think that rant is kit-worthy, no?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Book Report
by yellojkt

'The System Of The World' by Neal Stephenson.

This book was an excellent look at life in the olden days. It's about counterfeiters and pirates and slaves and boring people who wore wigs and talked funny.

There is a scientist named Daniel Waterhouse (I kept confusing his name with the guy on NPR who writes children's books in Duchess County). He is old and a friend of Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton invented gravity and calculus but now spends all his time trying be Harry Potter.

There are a bunch of bad guys who are really good guys and everybody wants this magic gold to make a computer with. The good guys and bad guys keep having fights and arguments and trying to trick each other. The good guys are called Whigs because they wear wigs. The bad guys are called Jacobites because they bite people like werewolves in the Twilight books do.

There is also a love story between Jack the counterfeiter and Eliza. He is like the Scarface of old time London. Eliza is really smart and hangs around the rich people. They don't get to kiss a lot because they are both old and mad at each other.

There is one icky sex scene because you need that if HBO is going to make a miniseries out of it.

This book is important because you learn a lot about olden times in it. London was really, really dirty back then. I mean REALLY dirty. And people thought slavery was okay, but it really isn't because slaves can be really smart. And the most important thing about having a powerful country is to have money people like because then everybody wants to use it.

This book was very good but its very long. You should read the other two books first or else this one won't make any sense. They have more fighting and pirate stuff anyways.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Kudos on your 6:50 post, yello. A fine piece of work.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

You forgot to double-space and use a large font, yello...

Good rant, BTW.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Yello, that was a great post at 6:50 am.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 28, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

"Bear down, Chicago Bears,
make every play clear the way to victory.
Bear down, Chicago Bears,
put up a fight with.."

*loud whistle, accompanied by a torrent of yellow hankies*

*Unnecessary Gloating on MsJS! 15 yards! Repeat the down.*

Mea culpa, I'll try again.

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Congrats to bc, for retaining the tiara.

@yello, an eloquent rant for so early in the morning. I feel the depth of your frustration, though I don't share it. I look at the chaos in the political and socio-economic arenas and see enormous potential for change. Personal responsibility and generosity will be balanced with their corporate, societal and governmental counterparts. It'll take longer than 2 or 4 years, but it will happen.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Pinned to YjK's Columbia Brand EcoGreen zipneck-mockneck pullover:

Dear M/M Yjk,

Please see me about (Precious Little Smart) YjK's work this week. The quality is uneven and he did not follow the assignment order clearly given in the HappyParents/HappyTeachers at GreenMeadowsMiddle BlackBoard site.

Do you have your access code?

Just type that in to see the "arc of assignments" for AdvancedSpecialPreIBAP Language Arts 1013b.

Please see me about YjK's uneven performance.


Miss Violia Leona O'Loughleen (please recall, as demonstrated on my website YouTube video welcome that the "gh" is sounded as "ff"; do not forget the after school enrichment lessons in practical Gaelic-- $79.95)


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I understand the theory of divided government, baldho. But it doesn't work properly when one half of the divided government is criminally insane. It only works when both halves are reasonably coherent and reasonably tolerant of each other, and still willing to put the country as a whole ahead of their own indeologies and agendas. That condition does not apply to the current situation.

You say: "With the GOP holding at least 45 seats in the Senate, none of the worst of the Dem ideas would ever get passed." Your math is off, because all they need is 41, because nowadays almost nothing gets past without 60 votes. (The exception is via budget reconciliation, in which case you need 51 to pass, and 50 to block. So the 45 still does nothing.)

What you are talking about is part of the notion of "checks and balances," which is fine, and also about stopping "excess," which is also fine. But that's different from "gridlock," and it's different from "sabotage," which is what we have now.

When you say you'd consider voting Republican, you are talking about voting for a party that used to exist in this country, back, say, in the 1960s or 1970s, maybe even part of the 1980s. That party no longer exists.

Yes, one would think that what gets passed is "Things that generally most folks agree on." Show me some examples, please, because I'm not seeing much of it. Most people agree everyone needs medical care. Most people agree the banks need better regulation. Most people agree Social Security needs repair and overhaul. Most people agree every child needs a good education. Most people agree the country needs reasonable defending (but not unreasonable over-defending). Most people agree our veterans need proper post-service medical and psychological care. Most people believe in global warming and that we should do something about it. Most people agree we need less foreign oil as well as less use of oil in general. So show me where any of that has been accomplished.

The theory of divided government, as you suggest, is to rein in excess. It does NOT assume one side will simply sabotage the other into gridlock.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

One of George Will's talking points going back to at least the Reagan years is that the American people must like gridlock because they keep voting for it over and over again.

And from mudge's laundry list, the one item I must take the strongest exception to is global warming. This is far from a closed issue. A LOT of people still think it is some sort of nefarious conspiracy to dupe everybody into trading their F-150s in for Priuses. I don't know why. They just do.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

*My best orator's loud voice*

"Mr. President (of the Republican National Convention), I proudly nominate Mr. M. Yellowjkt to the GOP candidacy for President of these Unite States!!!"

CqP, you are such a major hoot, BTW.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | September 28, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

From the Klein column:

""Bret Bernhardt, DeMint's chief of staff, said in an e-mail to GOP aides that his boss would place a hold on all legislation that has not been cleared by both parties by the end of the day Tuesday... With the Senate slated to adjourn Thursday untiil after the elections, DeMint's stance could mean trouble for Democrats if the two parties don't quickly agree on a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating past Sept. 30. And that could mean the demise of a slew of other stalled and largely non-controversial bills that both parties are looking to clear before Election Day."

See, this is not "divided government," nor is it "checks and balances."

(What's truly amazing to me is the extreme short-sightedness of these new procedural tactics. Because if they work so well in the GOP stopping the Dems, they will work equally well if/when the GOP ever gets back into power. If one senator can bring an enteire majority party AND White House to a halt, then it can be done in reverse.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning,friends. Yello, your morning rant was excellent. Thank you.

Slyness, on the way to the doctor. We got enough rain to flood one of the schools here. Hope your day is good too.

Talitha, great idea about getting sibling cats. I like cats, a lot.

Have a good day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 28, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The GOP has traditionally been very good at exploiting internal Democratic divisiveness. Party unity is not a Democrat strong point. We have seen this scorched earth logjam practice before and it plays very well to the base but it ultimately backfires. The Republicans smell blood and are hoping to capture one or both houses at midterm. Without a national race, they need to exploit the enthusiasm gap keep tossing out the red meat.

Expect a very different set of tactics in the lame duck session and next term. Because the right is playing defense, the left has few of their hot button issues (abortion rights, Supreme Court make-up, civil rights) in play to fire up their most ardent supporters.

The battleground is the middle which is still very ambivalent about the pace of the recovery. Obama should double down and offer massive middle class tax cuts with huge 'surcharges' on the uberwealthy. For some reason the Clinton era tax rates are seen as a limit rather than a starting point. Which plays into Republican hands.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

MacGeniuses announced. WB -- see the list and bios! Jack, you too. And, a type designer!!!!!!

But, sweet cheeses artisanal and pedestrian: HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICS TEACH!

And, DON -- "Hoot" beats Hot anyday of the week.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Then you need to sharpen your math skills, yello.

"Fewer Americans believe in global warming, poll shows

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"The percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dipped from 80 to 72 percent in the past year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, even as a majority still support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

"The poll's findings -- which also show that 55 percent of respondents think the United States should curb its carbon output even if major developing nations such as China and India do less -- suggest increasing political polarization around the issue, just as the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are intensifying efforts to pass climate legislation and broker an international global warming pact."

The problem for you to reconcile is that even if belief is dropping it is still 72 percent (at least as of a year ago), and 72 percent is still a VERY healthy majority.

It does no good to point out belief may be eroding; there are reasons for the erosion (like the wingnut media, as a major example). It also does no good to site erosiion of belief, because it is NOT eroding among scientists, who are the people who count the most here, not what the soft-headed segment of the population might think.

By and large, facts don't rely upon how many people might or might not believe them at any given time, nor in what the trend lines look like.

What I said was "most people believe..." and statistically I'm right. Knowing how to count is important. 72 and 55 are still both majorities in any 100-base counting system I'm aware of. They taught me that in 4th or 5th grade. Not even the rightwingers can erode belief in how many fingers you have on your hands.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Yellojkt, add my voice to praise for your 6:50 rant. Well done, sir.

I also enjoyed yello's book report; I have the trilogy somewheres about but have not yet read it and appreciate the synopsis.

baldinho, I too understand your point about checks and balances and an opposition party but, like Mudge, I feel strongly that is not what we have now. The current Republican minority leadership in both houses is explicitly and openly stalling or refusing to pass legislation purely because it is on the Democrat's or administration's agenda. They enforce this policy with remarkable firmness and unanimity. You may remember that health care reform and financial sector reform both passed, essentially, without Republican votes. No bipartisanship there, no passing popular legislation for the good of the country. The Republican Senate leadership is deliberately using obscure Senate rules to avoid bringing even popular legislation to the floor. Minority party legislators routinely offer ridiculous amendments, which they themselves cannot support with a straight face, to delay passage of legislation. Several Republican legislators are on record as supporting particular bills but wind up voting against those bills. They are encouraged to put holds on appointments, including judicial appointments, for reasons unrelated to the nominees. This is beginning to seriously affect the federal courts' ability to function.

This goes to Bob S's point about voting for the individual over the practical party consequences. At this time, an individual Republican candidate may have survived a Tea Party primary and in fact hold non-extremist positions which consider the good of the country. It has become abundantly clear that, if elected to Congress, that person will not be allowed to vote with Democrats on issues opposed by party leadership (read: pretty much all issues, see above), and will be marginalized if he or she does so.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Huzzahs to yello for his wonderful post(s)! I completely agree!

Posted by: ftb3 | September 28, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

A fine start to Peter Finch's birthday, may he rest in peace.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

According to this map, Yoki, there's two people from Calgary coming to the Rally to Restore Sanity on Oct. 30.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Here is a site with a lot of more recent polling data which supports mudge's positions in general.

However there are a few troubling spots:

"From what you’ve heard or read, do you think the evidence on global warming is widely accepted within the scientific community, or do many scientists have serious doubts about it?" (May 2010)

Widely accepted 37%
Many have serious doubts 49% Unsure 14%

"Thinking about what is said in the news, in your view, is the seriousness of global warming generally exaggerated, generally correct, or is it generally underestimated?" (March 2010)

Exaggerated 48%
Correct 24%
Under-estimated 25%

I'm not trying to pick a fight. Global warming is real and our carbon emissions need to be reduced. However, depending on the wording of the question, between 30 and 45% of the US disagrees with one or both of those statements. Which is a lot.

Public policy and scientific opinion should not poll based, but there is a huge knowledge gap there.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

A fact is a stubborn thing.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why anyone is surprised by the Repiglican attitude. Don't forget that they said right after the election that they wanted O'Bama to fail. And while they kind of publicly backed off from that, in private that is exactly what their mind-set is. No matter what the issue, if the Dems support it, they must oppose it, even if they actually believe it is a good idea. The only goal is to take back power, no matter how low or nefarious the means.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 28, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

jkt, well said, early this morning. I too would love to find something that I could support in the Republican stew of policies, but there ain't none. It is as meaningful as ear wax.

It is basically a big pile of steaming Frank Luntz crazy gibberish. One point in their lists of talking points can't even stand with the next.

While the press nods off and sleeps through 2 years of obstruction and irresponsibility, there are a couple of interesting numbers to which we might want to focus:

1. Twice as many "real" Americans dislike the Obama Health Legislation because it didn't go far enough than hold the "this is socialism and let's scrap it" view.

2. 85% of Christine O'Donnell's financial campaign backing comes from out-of-state sources.

Now, if you excuse me, I am going to head down to the zoo and watch the monkey's evolve into humans. (don't worry, I do think that it will take quite a while and will be packing a lunch)

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Even more frightening are polls on science and evolution.

43% (+/-3.7%) agreed with the following statement:
"God directly created biological life in its present form at one point in time."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Thing is, yello, one can believe in that statement and also in the scientific/evolutionary theories of life.

They need not be mutually exclusive.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

ebnut, they have to really run away from this:

Source is Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, by Kathy Ruffing and James R. Horney

"Some critics continue to assert that President George W. Bush’s policies bear little responsibility for the deficits the nation faces over the coming decade — that, instead, the new policies of President Barack Obama and the 111th Congress are to blame. Most recently, a Heritage Foundation paper downplayed the role of Bush-era policies (for more on that paper, see p. 4). Nevertheless, the fact remains: Together with the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

The deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion and, at nearly 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was the largest deficit relative to the size of the economy since the end of World War II. If current policies are continued without changes, deficits will likely approach those figures in 2010 and remain near $1 trillion a year for the next decade."


of course, ebnut, Americans as jkt and Mudge have pointed out don't understand diddly and wouldn't also understand that just by doing the basics of cutting the Federal budget the way that the GOP is proposing right now would cause a straight line decrease in employment by 1.1 million (using a fairly reliable ratio with the GDP). That, from where we are right now, is frightening. Sadly, it would hit the folks in those Red States pretty hard.

The funniest part about this is that you don't have to do much than look back say ... 3 or 4 years and you might be able to remember what it was like. Of course, that's a long time ago and not many of us can remember that far back.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!
Don't normally like to pile on, but must add my praise for yello's morning rant. Well said. BTW I do miss Tampa's old orange unis. The old pirate looked like a VA Cavalier to me.

talitha-the frostcats have been consulted and they give paws up to 2 cats from the shelter, siblings or otherwise, inside only. They beg for appropriate name consideration, nothing too cute please. The boodle is great for helping cats reveal their true names.

Later gators!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 28, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

jkt, I can make another sandwich. Do you want to drop by the zoo? I may bring a book and find a bench next to a cage of monkeys.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

A lot of it has to do with where one's head is, yello. You site that 43% claimed XYZ. Why not site that 57% didn't?

Your head is usually in the wrong place, that's all. I said "most" agreed with global warming. You chose to side with the minority who don't.

In a way it is a glass-half-empty/glass-half-full argument, but in this case the glass is more than half full -- yet you chose to make a fuss about the fact that it may be one-third empty. It's about your perspective, not about the facts or the statistics, and your mode of thinking.

I made a series of assertions, which I believe to have been statistically accurate, in a discussion with someone else and which had nothing whatsoever to do with you. But you just couldn't let it go, could you? You had to start quibbling over the numbers, just to announce your presence. I said the glass is more than half full; you just HAD to point out it was somewhat less than half empty. Consider the psycholgy here.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

SCC: cite, note site, re 43/57.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Eventually, the harsh and nasty facts will assert themselves and the painful reality of Earth's systemic response to the tide of human effluent will become clear. When that day comes, I have no doubt that the people who have done the most to try to persuade the world to avoid that fate will be blamed for actually causing it, on the grounds that if they were just better at the job of persuasion, they would have been able to convince the pig-headed idiots to do the right things in the first place.

Since the smart people have been unable to persuade the stupid people to save their own stinking hides and the hides of their posterity, I am inclined to abandon them (the stupid people, that is). Let the smart people make smart plans for their own survival and the survival of their progeny, so that at least when Nature does its ruthless work, it might favor the evolution of a better class of voter.

I think it might be fair to say that I am a bit of a cynic.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

How about this statement:

"God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so."

44% of Americans agree with it versus 14% for this one:

"Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process."

36% split it down the middle by saying:

"Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Roast beef and cheddar with horseradish on ciabatta.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Tim, I was trying to follow your points, but I was getting distracted by the Jobs for America virtual rally in the advertising around the boodle that is brought to you by the Petroleum Industry and if you didn't see this before:

As you can see, Science Tim, the Washington Post is beholding to your favorite folks!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

jkt, can you make a good guess at the best possible species to watch to catch the transformation? I guess it really doesn't matter. I mean, if we are going to see the change in a couple of hours, what's another 15 minutes.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I must side with yellojkt's points on a couple of things:

(1) It's simply dispiriting, the large proportion of people who are dedicated to not thinking.

(2) Some of those minorities are large enough to hobble the useful actions of the majority. Because they are dedicated to not thinking, this seems to them like a good idea.

(3) We live in an era in which it is not enough that an overwhelming majority should agree that there is a problem; an overwhelming majority must agree on one, and just one, action to take to correct the problem. Because it would be wasteful, I guess, to take more than one action. Recall that in the past Presidential Administration, Bush finally came to publicly acknowledge that global climate change is real. After that admission, we have managed to accomplish next to nothing that could actually help us turn the corner. The EPA now regulates carbon emissions, but that's about it, and I don't recall anyone proclaiming that this regulatory regime has produced any significant alterations in carbon production.

(4) If a proposed action actually passes through the legislative gantlet and is put into effect, it is repudiated as soon as it fails to instantaneously correct the problem entirely; viz, declarations of disappointment that Obama has not 'done more' to turn around the economy and create jobs.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

But, SciTim, on a serious note, what is truly dispiriting is that our press allowed the right wing to "count" those who are strictly unhappy with the Obama administration actions because they didn't go far enough as being part of those who thought that Barrack Hussein went too far.

As a specific example, I would suggest that most responsible polls show a very large popularity for universal health insurance, but those people are largely ignored by the press when addressing the disagreement between the "parties" on health care. I think you yourself have made the point, or was it jkt, that we often have a two sided equivalency situation going on and, in truth, we have two of maybe 4 positions represented in your usual back and forth presentation of talking points and often, one party is just being irresponsible in its representation of what the people really want and need.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ham on rye with a dash of mustard, tomato and pasta salad on the side.

Most provocative and delightful boodle this morning, friends. Many thanks. yello and CqP take the cake, but I'm not in charge of awarding prizes. ;)

Thanks also for the input on cats. I will certainly consider the indoors-only rule ... I may be a bit muleheaded, but I'm not ironclad. As to names, frosti, I agree that cats seem to choose their own. Boodlers' help will be splendiferous.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I apologize for my terribly inarticulate last post. I was trying to do three things at once and failed at all.

I also would like to introduce into the discussion a point that his haunted me recently and that is that in the British governmental system and their people, I see a much higher willingness to understand the issues facing their nation and, therefore, a more likely possibility that they have a platform on which to work together.

Recently, there has been the hearings to uncover the truth behind what happened with their path towards involvement in the Iraq conquest. I watch a number of their hearings and it was disarming to hear members of both parties and the witnesses, themselves, discussing the events and facts as if they all had the responsible lucidity of Elizabeth Warren. It seems clear that there are very few Louis Gompertz's in England and, if they do have them, they don't put them in positions of great responsibilities.

The second point is the recent coalition government which is truly willing to try governmental policies that can work if the government stands behind the policy and works to make it succeed.

The point here is that, if you are going to have an NIH in the USA, why not make it the best possible research organization possible for the sake of the people.

No, in America, we aren't smart enough to know that, right now, the top 200 families as measured on accumulated wealth pay taxes at a rate which is fundamentally the same as Americans who are lucky to be living on incomes that are roughly $5,000 per year above the poverty level. (that's assuming that they are paying taxes at all--some are not).

The truth about America today is that, for about 150 million Americans, the most likely path to decent wealth is playing the lottery. The joke is that they think that wealthy people have 100 Million Dollars. Pish Posh. That's what it takes these days to fire a CEO with cause.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I've always been under the impression that if you put something here on the boodle and not in a private email, it's wide open for comments from anyone. Anyone at all. Also, generally in a poll, there's a choice of yes, no, and I don't no. You can't just subtract the nos from 100 and stick everyone else in the yes column.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That's all well and good, Tim, but my irritation was with yello hijacking a thread. The discussion was between me and Baldinho about what legislation "most people" wanted passed, and about gridlock and checks and balances. That's what we were discussing. He decided to jump in in order to nit-pick an essentially irrelevant point and turn it into a debate about stpuid things people believe, mainly about religion, and about the statistics thereof.

So now instead of continuing the thread about political gridlock in Washington, and about the merits and demerits of voting Republican, we're talking about who and how many believe in creationism.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Supporting weed;s 11:12:

"Many in poll who oppose health-care law wanted it to do more

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Agiesta
The Associated Press
Posted: 09/26/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul has divided the nation, and Republicans think their call for repeal will help them win elections in November. But the picture is not that clear-cut.

A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.

"I was disappointed that it didn't provide universal coverage," said Bronwyn Bleakley, 35, a biology professor from Easton, Mass.

More than 30 million people would gain coverage in 2019 when the law is fully phased in, but another 20 million or so would remain uninsured. Bleakley, who was uninsured early in her career, views the overhaul as a work in progress.

The poll found that about 2 in 5 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about 1 in 5 say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What? Only you can take the boodle off-kit? Granted, you're good at that, but geez, get a hold of yourself. There's plenty of cookies for everyone.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


I have some free Mr. Stripey's, would that do?

BTW, I am becoming a freegan by being at the market. I trade what I have with other vendors. My favorite get from this past weekend were my french radishes. Kosher Salt and Vinaigrette. I also ended up with some nice organic greens that will become lunch.

The week before, I got some green and purple beans that become a hot stir-fry with black bean curd paste, a couple of over ripe heirlooms, celery, sweet red peppers, market habanero's (whooiee), rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic.

I added a teaspoon and a half of sugar to balance off the hot and sour.

For me, I just can't get into brown rice. I like it with wild rice, but that's it. When I make an Asian dish, I always seem to prefer white rice. With that, I like a medium grain.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, LiT, twice.

Mudge, What's going on???

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

MsJS, thanks for the Tiara kudos for the week. Believe me - no one's more surprised than I.

My take on yello's argument is that a small but intransigent minority matters in that they may be in a position to block meaningful or drastic changes that may be needed to avert a disaster. (Hello, Congress.)

The polarization I percieve in media and information - due, some might say, in large part due to huge increase in personal information bandwith and processing (TV, radio, Internet, etc.) - that provides positive feedback for those purveying exreme positions gives those purveyors access to support and resources that they would not otherwise have access to. One does not need to get along with next door neighbors if one had 500 friends on Facebook, right? Needs for social identification and acceptance can be met on the further extremes of the socio-political spectrum, rather than by trying "get along" or "compromise" with local communities.

When achievement becomes defined more by internet views and nielsen ratings (and advertising revenue) than by actual accomplishments and work, is it any wonder that shrill volume, ourageousness, and pandering are more effective than logic, proveable facts, and thoughful responsible concilatory actions for the greater good. [If you could even get a consensus of what those latter items even *are*.]

Ah, this has gone on too long.

The numbers do matter. But if the number that's effective in making or preventing change is 1, that's big enough, whatever it is. Argue about percentages all you like -- but IMO unless there are "magic" numbers (say, 61 in the Senate), the others are interesting information and may provide some context for a problem, but it isn't the solution.

The world hasn't gone to the dogs, but it looks more and more like a planet-sized herd of cats.


Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Yello, loved your early rant this morning but a busy morning at work prevented me from posting.

russianthistle, liked your post about the British system and would like to post thoughts but do not have time.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Yello, the GOP has given up on RINOs (like you and me?). The CBuckleys of the world won't return, either.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

What's going is that sometimes I like to try to have a serious, extended conversation without some twit jumping into it for gamesmanship reasons.

Yes, any thread is open to any commentary, at any time. But sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing or just leave something go.

It has nothing to do with staying on-kit, or going off-kit; we all do both, all the time. It has to do with being irritated when someone nit-picks you -- and they are fundamentally incorrect, and begin to introduce irrelevancies in support of their factually incorrect interruptions.

That's what it's about.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I believe this is a problem with your perception.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

It's RINOs versus EIPOs.

And the ideologues have the upper hand.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

But it's even the mom and apple pie issues that are divisive. Yes, everybody wants better schools, but the methods to obtain those ends are diametrically opposite. Conservatives have been pushing vouchers and open-enrollment and charter schools for eons. And on many fronts their causes are advancing.

Liberals are more attuned to the root causes which result in poor school performance. But that requires an expanding safety net and more dreaded social programs.

I personally (and rather selfishly) think we ought to double teacher salaries for a decade and see if that gets any results.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Humourous diversion, the parliamentary system, in particular, quesition period.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

43% (+/-3.7%) agreed with the following statement:
"God directly created biological life in its present form at one point in time."

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

A lot of it has to do with where one's head is, yello. You cite that 43% claimed XYZ. Why not cite that 57% didn't?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Because 57% didn't claim that God didn't. If you look at the poll yello linked to, only 18% claimed God didn't.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Second paragraph, second sentence...good point. Is that sound advice for everyone, or everyone except you? Also, name-calling is childish (learned that well before 4th or 5th grade), and detracts from an argument, making the name-caller appear weak. Ya butthead. ;) Besides, twit is the wrong word here as he was attempting to SUPPORT your comment. (As to motivation, I could make a very good point, but then you wouldn't EVER fix me a mojito sans a lovely white oleander garnish, so I'll take your 2P2S advice and let it go.)

Moving on...hijacking a that like seeing a thread on someone's blazer, trying to do them a favor by removing it, but end up having the sleeve fall off?

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I have heard cats respond to names with sibilant sounds. By this thinking, Earl or Mary are bad cat names; Tipsy and Sprocket are better.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

LiT, the Ivansguys listen to a song which says, "If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread and just walk away. . . . I'll soon be naked." It is a little odd but has a naive and catchy tune to it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

jumper... you make me think of my dad. He used to call any cat we had at the time "Dummy." Dad would stand out on the deck at night, in his underwear, yelling "Duuummmmmeeee."

We used to laugh and ask him who's the dummy?

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

May I point out at this very moment there is no precipitation in and around D.C.?


Sorry to interrupt.


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, dbG, that is indeed my perception.

And it is my perception that instead of continuing to discussion what kind of legislation "most people" want, and about political gridlock, and things having to do with that topic, now we've got yello, TBG, Tim, LiT, and everybody else discussing statistics about religion. Which is fine. Knock yourselves out.

I myself would like to continue discussing with Baldinho and Ivansmom at some point the ramifications of political gridlock in Washington, and how we can get back to the proper function of checks-and-balances, and restraining political excess of various branches of the government. These questions fall within the somewhat larger question of what it means to "vote Republican," and whether such a vote is truly a vote for Republicanism as it used to exist, or whether it is a vote for simple obstructionism. Anyone may feel free to continue that discussion (though I suspect it is now dead as a doornail), or we may all abandon it, as you wish.

I am not myself much interested in discussing the know-nothings who don't believe in global warming, or their views on theology, and the democgraphics thereof. But if that's the new thread you want to persue, have at it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I don't see him calling Persephone, your current cat, dummy--and getting away with it! Nobody messes with Persephone!

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I thought that, as so often happens on the Boodle, we were talking about all those things at once. Plus cats.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

No, Mudge... we're not discussing religious statistics. The thread we are pursuing is why you're being so touchy about this. Folks discuss and disagree in a friendly manner in this forum all the time; that's why we love it here.

But to attack someone because, in the comment where he actually posts a link CONFIRMING *your* statement, he happens to point out a couple of items he finds disturbing, is not boodle-like--and not like you, curmudgeon (small "c") or not.

You are always free to discuss with baldhino or Ivansmom or even RNM whatever you want. We're free to read the discussion, agree, disagree, add to it or not. If you want to pursue a personal discussion with no chance of anyone interrupting or adding something or disagreeing with you, you'll have to give them a call or email them personally.

And if someone changes the subject, you're also free to use the scroll bar. I know about that; I use it all the time.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

bc, Mudge,

Sorry if I go way off the off topic, but just made lunch of sausage and okra in a creole sauce. One pan, even did the roux in it. De glazed with a shot of Marsala. Went with a half of a habanero to kick it up. Used free onion and pepper from market. Wish I could share with you. bc, may not agree, but I think I could put it up against Jose at the New Louisiana Kitchen.

Just posting a thought here... I always end up getting celery at the big grocery store. Is celery (really stupid question) easy to grow around here? Does celery always taste like celery no matter where you get it? If local or home-grown tomatoes are so much better, why not celery? Ya know?!

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom and TBG have already written what I would have hoped to.

The boodle runs parallel, not serial. If it were serial, we might stay more on-kit.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

dbG, if it were serial, we would need more milk.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I-mom, I'm pretty sure that's Weezer's "Undone."


Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I am not a cat person, but my parents are. When I lived in their house, they only had one. That may have been in deference to my cat allergies, but I doubt it. Our very first cat was indoor/outdoor and was often in fights with birds. Sometimes the birds won.

Now they keep two cats on hand at all times because it is so amusing to watch them play with each other. The cats are now kept indoors because of the alligator population, which may or may not be an issue in all places.

Four or more cats makes you a crazy cat lady. Three is borderline. I may have to work up the exact CCL determination formula based on age, number of human occupants, size of domicile, and gross annual income.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

If it were serial, that cereal would be . . .

CqP is the final arbiter of the best answer. Please include your reasons, unless they're self-evident. For example, if the boodle were serial it would be froot loops.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

That's it, bc! It is a cute song, I think, in a consciously but casually naive way.

I've always thought that celery was celery. Perhaps I just haven't had good celery. I have relatives who maintain there is no such thing. Celery, like cilantro, is one of those foods that divides people into distinct camps.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm just mad about Saffron.

(but I'll refrain from calling for her from the backporch in my underwear)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If the boodle were a serial/cereal it would be Post Toasties.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, lets start yet another thread here: I can email to people's phones, and they get it as a text message on their phone. (one usually has to acquire the email address to do this from the provider of the phone service. My contacts provided me with these. For example, to send from my computer an email which is delivered as a text, I email to which is, I think, Verizon's way of doing this. I name that address "Sam's-txt" in my email contacts list)

Some here probably didn't know you could do this, and some know a lot more than this.

I want the nephews to be able to text me from their phones but have these end up as emails received at my desktop computer. My brother says this can't be done. Is he right?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Celery is odd stuff. It's sturdy, so was always available in supermarkets in Wyoming towns. Thus, a lot of it got stir-fried, in the absence of bok choy, much less Shanghai choy.

On the politico-religious front, there is some sort of correlation between creationist beliefs and voting Republican.

Our local tea-bag Congressman was just quoted as thinking the bailout/stimulus of the late Bush/early Obama adminstrations saved the country from a depression, but that we'd already be better off had the depression been allowed to happen, no bailouts. The guy has no idea what a depression would have looked like.

Tea-bag or not, our Congressman wants a healthy, growing space industry. Of course his fellow baggers are likely to shut down NASA in a year or so, and prospects seem lousy for getting a coherent set of goals and funding for NASA. Our space agency will probably sputter along until we discover that China has a better one. By then, we won't be able to afford to compete.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 28, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's all as may be, except for one thing. I really like discussing politics, which you all know full well, and it may just about the only thing I take very seriously. What you might also realize, if given some thought, is that I like to use the Boodle as a way of refining my own thoughts; very often, when discussing politics, I use my own posts as well as others to work out some ideas; for me it is a process. I have ideas and theories about politics, and this is often where and how I work them out. So when I go on some rant or pursue some particular thread, I am doing a form of "work" that is important to me. I am working through ideas, and I welcome serious debate and commentary. In short, I'm *working* on something. Now, if any of you want to just scroll past and not participate, that's fine; that's beyond fine, it's great, it's swell, and I have no problems with it.

But when I'm working on something, and pursuing a line of reasoning, I like to work it all the way through. Yes, I welcome debate and commentary, if it is serious and contributes to the line of work I'm pursuing.

But all of you also know damn well that I'm cranky and irritable and don't tolerate fools gladly. Yes, it's a character flaw, and yes, it's mine. I know this hardly comes as a shock to you. You also know quite well that one person in particular irritates me no end. That's just the way it is. So here's the deal. We all tolerate quirks and flaws and peccadiloes in each other, so this is my flaw and you're all going to have to deal with it. When I'm working on a particular serious thread, feel free to contribute all you want, but otherwise leave me alone. Don't take MY particular thread and turn it 90 degrees. If you want to start a separate thread of your own, be my guest. Extraneous threads about cats, dogs, songs, rhubarb, Dancing with the Stars, and approximately 10,000 other subjects don't bother me or distract me in the slightest. As you know well by know, I myself can follow and participate several different threads simultaneously.

But when you think to yourself, "Oh, jeex, Mudge is on one of his rants again," just stay away, scroll past, avert your eyes, or do whatever you need to do. If you want to jump on my bandwagon of the moment, feel free. But don't stick an effing broomstick in the spokes of my wagon when I'm trying to drive someplace I want to go. It's MY wagon. You are welcome to ride in it, or not, as you wish. You are not welcome to break it. That is all I ask, and quite probably the only thing I ask of you.

If it's my football, that's what we do with it: we play football. We don't play soccer, or square-dance with it. You don't want to play? Fine. Mazel tov. No hard feelings. Just stay off the field. It's my football.

Thank you for listening (or not, as the case may be).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 28, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Rt, homegrown celery is analagous to homegrown cukes--much better than bought but not the great divide between hg and sb tomatoes.
IMHO, anyway. I grew it last year.

It's easy to grow but I think it's determinate--all plants are usable at the same time.

Posted by: -dbG- | September 28, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You might try this Jumper...

Some info here:

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of football, who is wearing the tiara this week?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

bc looks quite studly in the tiara.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I knew it would be you TBG! I'm a bit lost, but I did find out that email-to-phone (which I already know how to do) will go by this (if this is up to date, and it is on the two carriers I know and use):

Virgin Mobile:

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The Boodle is Life.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

What's Life?
Life is a magazine.
How much does it cost?
Twenty-five cents.
I only have a dime.
That's Life.

{repeat until one of your parents hits you}

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse


thanks for the clarity on Celery. I actually like celery in my cooking. DotC, I think that the celery has some great flavor properties and indeed picks up the flavors of the other items in a dish. I have no problem using cabbage and celery at the same time.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Good, I-mom.

r_t, I'm sure that sausage and okra dish is delicious, and I'm sure the guys at LK would agree.

The only locally grown celery I've ever had tasted like - celery. I think there is something to having it fresh, though.


Posted by: -bc- | September 28, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Boodle IS a serial --

The Jollities of Joel, as it were


Posted by: Scottynuke | September 28, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It's not that I *would never* vote for a Republican. I would, really. I live in a state in which most important offices are decided in the Democratic primary. I don't think that's right, and I would happily vote for a Republican who supports the personal liberties guaranteed and implied by the Constitution (as amended), fair and effective taxation policies, and evidence-based decision-making in the public realm.

Unfortunately, no such person has presented himself to the electorate in my district.

Is this like saying "we found no qualified minority applicants"?

I feel like a bad person. But I'm still not going to vote for any Republicans in November.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

And let me say that I believe strongly in the virtues of divided government, so long as it is divided between people who are not presently subject to frightening hallucinations.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I just sent a text from my phone to my email address. No magic required. I just entered my email address instead of a phone#. (I don't text so it took me a while!) My phone is ancient (no real chance of anything much like internet on it) and my plan pretty primitive. Works like a charm.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Bobby Haircut is running on a platform of rolling back the sales tax that Mayor of Muscleshirts raised. MO'M has already countered with ads pointing out all the fees and other taxes BH raised during his four years. It's tough to run as a rock thrower when you have spent some time in the glass house.

And feel free to vote for Eric Wargotz all you want since he can't possibly win. Just be aware that he is a genuine Birther, so his record on evidence based decisions is suspect despite being a medical doctor.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

S.Tim, it is becoming harder to vote for a Republican, even a reasonable one, as it might lead to putting one of the crazy ones in charge of something important.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, any chance you could walk your cats or supervise them while they're out for a romp? I know that sounds silly, but that's how many city dwellers make sure their cats are safe outdoors.

Wilbrodog used to practice ignoring cats when a neighbor's cat was out-- with the neighbor's supervision-- too many dogs in the area. I've also seen cats out for a walk (no leash) with their family. There's even cat agility at cat shows.

I just mention those alternatives to the traditional "indoors/outdoors" cat model because cats go missing at higher rates than dogs and get back home much less often-- likely because they're more apt to get into tight pipes and other dangerous places, and also more likely to be eaten by wildlife or seriously attacked by other cats. Supervision can remove that worry.

As for cued speech, I know some deaf people who were raised on that. It is a form of assisted lipreading, and doesn't always mean the child has clear speech. The same issues attendant to being deaf and subjected to an exclusively oral environment do apply to cued speech, although the situation is better; the intensive training required means families often attend cued speech camps and meet other families.

My direct complaint with trying to read cued speech is that the hand signals are like cyrillic to me. I can't get used to the B handshape meaning a few different sounds.

When a friend who knows cued speech replaced the handshapes with ASL handshapes, my comprehension jumped a lot and I really enjoyed the experience, I thought that system had a shot at replacing regular fingerspelling and becoming a valuable aid to ASL signers, but as long as the "cyrillic" system is in place it won't catch on, and it will always be a chasm.

Many cued speech users do later learn sign language so they can communicate with OTHER deaf people and learn more about the things they need to know as deaf adults.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@SciTim: to move to Ill-In-Oy, where it is increasingly hard to vote for anyone.

As to other threads, this isn’t any boodler’s wagon or football or flower patch. It’s Joel Achenbach’s and the Washington Post’s. Anyone here who wants a wagon/football/flower patch of her/his own, join the legions of bloggers before you and establish your own site where you can set up whatever rules you want.

Freshly baked soft ginger cookies and hot tea on the table.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought I had killed the boodle, and I get ginger cookies and hot tea? Thanks, MSJs. (Running out to get milk for the hot tea and cookies.)

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

... and for the serial.

Posted by: russianthistle | September 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if I understood cued speech, I'd totally use it as an adjunct to lipreading, in case that wasn't clear; too many long words are very hard to fingerspell spontaneously, but it's slow, tiring and not that useful for the smaller words. I keep thinking if only if it had been based on ASL fingerspelling, deaf people would have quickly improvised ways to improve the system decades ago.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the milk, Wilbrod. Where were my manners?

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the milk, Wilbrod. Where were my manners?

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Literary dreams:
Publish complete grammar guide
on tail-cued barking.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I hit the Submit key only once, really.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

That's a real shame, Wilbrod. Maybe someday, someone will make the connections and everyone will benefit. The young lady I know had cochlear implants, and I believe they have been helpful for her.

Hot tea and ginger cookies! You know how to make me happy, MsJS. I'll have Earl Grey this afternoon, I think.

Like others, I *have* voted Republican in the past (NEVER for Jesse Helms, however) but won't do it this year. The representative in my Congressional district is someone I've disliked for two decades. I haven't voted for her since she stole the mayor's election from Harvey Gantt. She's at the bottom of the list for effective members of Congress, too.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Went in Congress on promise of term limits. Never came out.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

slyness, any reference to Earl Grey always reminds me of Star Trek: TNG and Jean-Luc's favorite beverage.

I think my Congresswoman is running unopposed. No chance to choose 'cept via write-in.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I never did go for term limits, even when I have been angry. Makes no sense to me; the voters can limit those terms regularly if they so desire.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I truly hope you get home from work today to find all your favorites for dinner, whether they're healthy choices or not.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

May we all be so fortunate as to have exactly what we want for dinner.

For me, that's baked acorn squash.

Posted by: MsJS | September 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There were a couple of good rants today. Excellent. For those interested Stanley Fish had an interesting view on the tea (crack) pot party in the NYT today.

I should rant against the weather. It's a perfectly useless exercise but come on, it was 10C and raining at noon and 24C and raining at 4pm. I looked like a fool with my long-sleeve shirt and heavy raincoat. I took it off, better wet from rain from outside the coat than wet from perspiration and condensation from inside the coat.

The mail order flower bulbs are in. Yessss! The plan is to replenish the daffodil patches and make a few more colour patches with groups of tulips. Mrs. D seems to have snuck in some fancy scyllas and snow drops as well as well.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I kind of like the idea of limits on the number of *consecutive* terms. If you were really good at a job and want to come back, that option should be open, but let's make sure that we give a fair opportunity to others to try out for the position. If you get elected to an office, it should be on the basis of electoral merit, not just because you haven't yet messed up enough for me to go to an unknown person for a replacement. Say, a two consecutive-term limit for the Senate, and 6 consecutive terms for House (so that they cover the same term of office) = 12 years. Seniority should be cumulative across non-consecutive terms, of course.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Shhhh! Be vewwy qwiet!

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

It might also decrease the burden of fund-raising for incumbents to have my sort of term limits -- since the voters know there is an absolute window on how long they have to put up with you, there may be less of a contest to unseat an official who has not yet hit his limit. When you *do* hit your limit, you know you will have a couple years in which to raise funds before running once again for that office; or, you can run for a different office, just as politicians already do.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 28, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

One of the benefits of having female judges is to get decent rulings on prostitution cases. They get it. Of course our Conservative Federal gunmint is appalled.

Attorney General Holder thinks the US Senate STINKS! I think he is right.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

My version of term limits would be six terms in the House and three terms in the Senate. This would allow a career politician to have 30 years at the federal level. It has a certain up-or-out aspect of it which would keep the mix fresh.

The downside of term limits is the fear that it concentrates too much institutional memory into the hands of career staffers and outside lobbyists.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

SciTim... in Virginia the governor is only allowed one consecutive term. That's really not enough. It doesn't help that the Lt. Gov runs separately but has no term limits.

It makes for a very strange election cycle and a lame duck the moment the governor is elected.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I can see the temptation Tim, but I think the problem with the idea comes later. Terms are spread out in a particular fashion to ensure institutional memory while allowing for new faces. A better way to accomplish the goal might be to 1/give the FEC some real teeth...most of their decisions come *after* an election, when penalties generally amount to cash rather than thwarting unfair campaign behavior; 2/get rid of warchests; 3/reel in crazy advertising. I think it would be better to *appropriately* change how campaigns are handled, not how elections are held.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, when cochlear implants work, they can be quite helpful for speechreading and hearing many sounds, but they do not restore full hearing, so the child must be treated as if the child is still deaf with all that entails-- speech therapy, social support and so forth. When that's done, the outcome is very good.

In adulthood, the best candidates are late-deafened or have suffered progressive hearing loss since childhood to the point a cochlear implant would be helpful

I fully support my friends who fall in that category and would benefit from a cochlear implant.

I'm just not in that category and personally would like to see much more money spent on other avenues of hearing research that do not focus on performing major surgery to often-damaged nerves (which they cannot test for until the actual surgery).

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

There's a guy running for a state senate seat. He's inexperienced. In many ways, the job is "just" a job. I am the boss. I don't fire people for no reason; they have to be doing something wrong. Much of what they end up doing is non-partisan. A lot of what they do is. All this comes into my consideration. I don't like anyone telling me who to keep and who to fire. I have enough problems evaluating it as it is.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I set those "m"s here so I could put them in the bunker later and haul one or two out whenever I needed to append them to ungrammatical "who"s.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Good thoughts Jumper. As the author of exactly 3 refereed paper I support your definition of scientist BTW.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 28, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I understand, Wilbrod, and thanks for your perspective. In this, as in most things, one size doesn't fit all.

Posted by: slyness | September 28, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

A moveable feast
Je ne sais quoi of poetry
as kibble's dessert--


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LostInThought

How about #4/elect as many people as necessary to national office that will see to it there is never again enough money flowing into Washington DC, ready to be printed on the FED printing presses, or that can be used in the remotest way to influence the constituency of the current administration, and congress from the inside so as to gain the maximum votes for re-election. Wouldn't the FEC have it's plate full if that was the rule it work under? We could even let the Neo-BBP and SEIU thug and intimadate voters at the polling stations, but it wouldn't do any good because no matter what they did, there would be no goodies after the election. What if, huh? Why not now?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Those must have been some feisty arguments you put forth in those papers Shriek, requiring referees!

Sorry couldn't resist, this from the author of squat :-)

How are you feeling today Wilbrod?

Posted by: dmd3 | September 28, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... I sent myself an email via text message today, too. I had no idea I could do that.

Of course, on my phone I can also email just as easily, but it's nice to know it can be done.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeh #5/Get good rulings on prostitution, huh?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I did a quick backboodle and it looks like I need to do a detailed backboodle. Busy at work today, which is a good thing.

I did take the time to read a semi-detailed transcript of the forum I saw a part of yesterday. When I read Guinta's words, it hurt him. A lot.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Tim of Science,

How many Dethugmocrats and how long does it take to not read a bill, deem it passed (not pass it actually, just say they would've, if they could've, if they should've, or they didn't want to be thrown out on their keisters, but they may well be anyway), and saddle future generations of Americans (not to mention the pain it is causing in the rest of the world economy)? It may be more resonable to have a two week term limit. Now that would bring some new faces all right!

OK, don't tighten up, WE've found a new, fair and balanced kit, and will only be available to check in periodically, besides directed-gravity motion devices are calling for development.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

RNM, I was thinking along the lines of practical adjustments to current campaign practices while remaining in line with the current constitution, not some far-out plan requiring balloting shenanigans in an effort to change election outcomes. But hey, since we're going there, why not just wiggle your nose (if you're more a Jeannie fan than a Samantha fan, you can cross your arms, blink and nod once real hard) and get everyone to play not only by the rules but the spirit of the rules. Yeah. That'll work too.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Ooooohhh... looks like RNM discovered the RETURN key. And hit it twice. What a delight!

Now if he/she can just figure out the SHIFT key I might read the posts.


Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

There are some real drawbacks to term-limits. One among them is, that engineers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, teachers of all kind, practically all the persons who work in fields where they have to keep up with the most recent developments, can ill afford to work in politics for a limited time, after which they almost have to start over in their original field. This is also true for businessmen, but for different reasons. There is a reason for Congress having a large percentage of career politicians. This is a real dilemma. As for the composition of Congress, see

Posted by: gmbka | September 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

That is a far more diverse crowd careerwise than I would have expected. It bothers me that Joe Barton who apologized to BP is an engineer, but that is to be expected. We as an industry tend to the conservative end of the spectrum.

I've always toyed with quasi-Heinleinian concept that the commander-in-chief should have military experience. That would have made McCain the only qualified candidate from a major party in the last go around. I guess you would have to throw in Peace Corps or some other equivalent activity as equal credit.

As a social policy I wonder how that would affect enlistment.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 28, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Does organizing pro wrestling or extreme fighting qualify one for Commander in Chief? I'm thinking of a candidate in Connecticut.

On the side, I'm happy that the new Wall Street movie had motorcycles, not surfboards and hairy 15' waves at Montauk.

I got to watch a 1951 Technicolor movie presented via Blu-Ray at a local movie theater. Spectacular. I assume the disc was the result of a whole lot of restoration, but it's amazing to see such an old film looking, probably, better than it did at a typical theater back in 1951.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 28, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Good evening everyone. I wanted to stop by and tell you how happy I am this evening, and to thank God and the Lord Jesus for all the good people that are in my life, and who bring me so much joy and happiness.

The children are coming to the after school program at the church and my church family is helping me with the work. Oh, they are precious and I just can't put into words the happiness I feel in doing the work.

After my visit with the doctor I was slightly depressed and just throwing the worst kind of pity party, but once I got to working all that went away, and tonight I just feel happy and want to share that with you folks because you are so much a part of that happiness.

Once again I thank for your contributions and for the pep talks and for just listening and being the best friends a person could ever hope for. I do thank God for you, and may He bless you so much more than you can imagine through Christ.

Have a lovely evening, and much love to all.

I hope to get some pictures to share with you.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 28, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, tell them this:

learning makes all vocations possible and that some kinds of learning will support them in very hard times.

They flourish under your love and encouragement, dear C.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 28, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

All I want, out of either party, is someone at this stage of the game to admit that their boilerplate of spending programs or tax cuts will make the deficit worse. I also want them to admit that they have absolutely no plan to ever make it better.

Nobody ever says that, though just about everyone could and not be lying.

Mudge, regarding me believing or not believing the "conservative" horse puckey, I don't know if the term "conservative" means anything any more. I don't think "liberal" does either. Both terms have been so misused and garbled that they mean almost nothing.

To me, and maybe only me, being a "fiscal conservative" means I don't want to have my government turn our finances into the finances of Greece. It may be hooey to some, but it isn't hooey to me. I am generally nonpartisan on policy. There are policies I like and those I don't. I do not like programs that are enacted and not paid for. Period. Short-term tax cut in a pinch? Not my idea of a great idea, but I could live with it... if it were short term. They never are, and everyone knows it.

To me, the essence of fiscal conservatism: Don't be stupid and go bankrupt.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse


Dmd,Cereal/Serial? How about these yet-unknown brands:

Count Mockula
Rebels and Wam Wam
Most Posties
Funny Bunches of Dolts

I think the boodle is more quantum than ordinary: discreet threads and bedhead tangled threads.

And, yes, Mudge, we have our foibles as well as foil hats, as well as fencing foils and the most gorgeous boodle goils, ever.

YJ -- the diff between, painting with a huge brush, between the culture of scientists v. engineers is fascinating...worth a study or two....let's write a grant,'k?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 28, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yello, the professional distribution here is much better than in other countries, where 50+% of the legislative body consists of people from the public service sector who can take a leave of absence, in much maligned Europe of course, and therefore don't take a risk.

As for your Heinleinian concept (not that I have read much of Heinlein), what about priests as marriage counselors? I think there are overarching principles that make people effective without them having to have the same life experience, and I am not catholic. Also, our president is more than the commander in chief and warfare should not be his main concern.

What did you have in mind with social policy and enlistment? From what I have seen, many of those who sadly have died in those !@#$ wars were from some small economically disadvantaged towns, and for whom the military was a way out. This experience completely changed my attitude towards the draft: I am all in favour of it now. If we feel we need to go to war, the whole population should be involved, and not just those who have few choices.

Posted by: gmbka | September 28, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Baldinho, I agree with you completely that the terms conservative and liberal have lost all significant meaning. I have even come to the conclusion that the entire concept of a political spectrum running from right to left (or left to right, as one might prefer) is no longer useful or accurate, as a single linear spectrum. I've come to think that perhaps an X/Y axis with both a left-right axis as well as an up/down axis, combined with Venn circles and diagrams (yes, it sounds more complicated than it is) might be more accurate. But I need to work on it some more. (For instance I believe I have identified 8 different species of Conservatives, and it is impossible to place them relative to each other on a left-right spectrum; hence the need for that second axis and the venn circles.)

I don't object to the notion of using somewhat simplified shorthand, as we tend to do with "liberal vs. conservative"; I just think some things are more than binary and more than purely linear.

I suspect I may also agree with you about the notion of "fiscal conservative." I think I need to object strenuously to the GOP/Conservs having appropriated that conept strictly for themselves, the same way they have appropriated "patriotism" strictly for themselves. I'm beginning to think that the notion of fiscal conservatism can and should be divorced from the entire GOP/Dem and left/right spectrum. In other words, I think it is entirely possibly to be a flaming liberal AND a fiscal conservative simultaneously, especially if you define FC, as you just did, as "don't do anything stupid."

In general, the Conservs have framed too many issues using their own language and their own framing, and the rest of us have to start taking that language and that dialog away from them. (Example: the "anti-war" movement used to be the exclusive turf of the Republicans in the first half of the 20th century (under the heading of Isolationism). Then during the 60s and 70s, it became the exclusive turf of the "liberals" (i.e., commie, pinko, off-campus peace creeps, etc.), where it kind of remains today. But recently, some of the Rand Paul-type libertarians [assumed to be on the right wing] have started to come out as a bit anti-war as well. It would be useful, I think, to be able to discuss war and anti-war ideas outside of the usual left-right crapola. For instance, there's a substantial issue of nation-building, and whether it is even doable, let alone whether "we" should do it. It would be great to be able to talk about and discuss these ideas absent the ideological baggage most people would bring to it. But I don't yet see how that can happen given the present environment.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

.... So there you go again....WE are gone for a couple of hours and in shorter time than it takes Joel to crank out another KIT, you've hit the gaurd, gorde, guard rail....there is horse puckey and then there is gooder horse puckey?

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

....anybody who agrees completely is...shovelin' that gooder stuff, pretty *amn sure.....

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I've recently become vastly amused by the notion that the extreme anti-government activists among the Tea Partiers who want to dismantle everything are what we used to call, back in the 60s, "anarchists." I mean, really, sometimes it's pretty hard to tell the difference between some of these people and Jerry Rubin or Mark Rudd.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Schwarzenegger raised some righteous hell today.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse


News Flash Milbank, et al,

Jeff Zucker of PMSNBC is leaving the stinking sycofant media ship(USS BO) in a >$20,000,000 Golden Submarine. It pays to pay attention to the attention-getters at the Department of Getting Attention and OUR Money Department. DNCNN is cleaning out it's closets at the top. In fact the Dethugmocrats on the stinking (and sinking) not-so-good ship Whozyapop (USS BO), tied up @ Penn. Ave., are jumping ship as fast as they can find a cheap motel that will take their wad in Chitcago-Land. The Excuses in Chief will soon be real naked up there with just his blow-up Georgie W. Bush Doll to keep him company while he goes around the country blaming Republican and Conservative thinking for bulldozing 50% of OUR Prosperity Generator into the Black-Hole of collectivism. George does have some splainin' to do in that regard, but he can't if the dim-witted Jack*sses refuse to acknowledge he was elected in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

roteur de foutre morue

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Jumper1 | September 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

....anti-narcs, anti-chists, anti-get-your-guns........phew, keyboards are smokin' to check my mail.....

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I had a history teacher in high school that was an avid war buff. He'd draw up these huge ancient battle maps and show the infantry versus the cavalry, etc.

At various stages of the battles he would describe how the two sides often attacked from one side of the line simultaneously, with the result that the lines of battle swung and circled and got all mixed up.

That is our politics. If you are out of power, you are against whatever the people in power are for. The election swaps who is in power and who is out, and the party on the outs is now against what it used to be for.

Anyone out there with any sense of decency would not be calling for across the board tax cuts. That is what every GOP candidate in NH is doing. I realize it is the boilerplate that has been focus-grouped and they all get together to say the same thing, but sheesh. None of them are being specific on cuts.

The Dems are just as bad. None even mention the deficit. None even dare mention raising taxes... except maybe on "the rich".

Profiles in courage we ain't.

Posted by: baldinho | September 28, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

If neurotics build castles in the sky, and psychotics live in them, I think I might know who the mayor is.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

....when the Weevils are spending and promising the sky from the castle at the edge of the brink, which would you rather have, a weevil or a lesser of? WE are through (and threw) turning the other cheek in the public arena, because that's where OUR money is, was, and will be going. WE (if you read previous posts, you would know who WE are) demand representation with your over defended Jack*ass Apostate Neo-Capitalist pigs-at-the-trough coalition of taxationists regime without Constitutional Authority and fake, yes FAKE portfolio. Couldn't be clearer than that.

Posted by: RichNomore | September 28, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

That's a big ole cup of crazy.

Probably gets himself dressed every morning in a Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit (blue knickers, lacy cuffs, frills around the neck, patent leather shoes with a big silver buckle), carefully brushes his pageboy haircut, puts on his goofy hat, looks in the mirror and calls himself Guv'nah.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 28, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I've studied a lot of military strategy and tactics, too, baldinho, and used to be a serious war-gamer (there weren't many of us anti-war peacenik wargamers back in the day, I can tell you). What your teacher was describing was the basic pincer movement, thought to originate with Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae (although some speculate it was also used at Marathon; it appears to have been, but I'm not sure whether it was intentional or by happenstance). But then one jumps from Hannibal at Cannae to Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens for the classic exemplars,

I often wonder whether the things the far right has in common with the far left isn't in any way political or ideological at all, but rather simply a shared kind of personality disorder, which is to say, a complete lack of sense of humor, combined with extreme zealotry and an inability to distinguish shades of gray, and lack of reasonableness. I think of Zhivago's Strelnikov and anti-tax wingnut Grover Norquist, and can't see a nickel's worth of difference between them.

This theory kind of runs parallel to the notion I've seen expressed a few places is that the "true enemy" isn't any one religion, but rather just fundamentalist religion (and the more extreme the fundamentalism the worse), of whatever stripe: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, whatever. Under this theory, our quarrel isn't with Islam, per se, but merely with its most extreme fundamentalist Wahabi sect. (I certainly agree with this.) Likewise, I abhor the behavior of the most extreme fundamentalist Orthodox Jews who want to take over the occupied territories and who are the biggest troublemakers inside Israel. And then there is Christine O'Donnell, who is self-explanatory.

So perhaps the true enemy is simply extremism and fundamentalism, which may in their ways be pretty much the same thing, and perhaps even psychological disturbances of some sort (in the leaders and theorists, anyway, though perhaps not so much in the followers). I've been pondering this ever since reading Hoffer's book true believers in college. Generally speaking, true believers tend to be dangerous people, IMHO.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Ah-nold does that, LiT? Now that's a thing I'd like a photo of.

Wait, I think I missed a few chapters in this novel. Never mind, I think the butler did it, because it's so obvious he was the ex-CIA agent who shot Allende on the grassy knolls of Chile.
Or do I mean the chaffeur? No, I think he's the one who turned out to be a transsexual illegimate daughter of a prior president of a country whose identity remains concealed.

But I still can't figure out why the granny with a AK-47 in her purse and hot tea for everybody who drops by even was mentioned. Maybe I missed the chapter where she got hitched to the one-eyed sailor who keeps dropping his drawers in between wise bromides in fluent Dutch, that's how she figures in...
*Flipping back* Oh, she was important only because she served our hero hemlock tea by accident and then apologized and told our hero who it was really for and that's how the case was cracked.

I think I have it straight now. Moving on to the next novel. "I am not a Serial Killer."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | September 28, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

While we're at it, would somebody explain to me the photo running in the front page rotation box under the hed "Debt concerns hit Ireland, Portugal." I think it's a guy in a shower cap running into a flung pizza, but I could be wrong about that.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I missed this while boodleskimming, but did we take the Pew religious knowledge quiz?

I got 14/15. That's somewhat disturbing for an apatheticist. I blame the nuns from my school and my hindu, muslim and buddhist neighbors. Oh and my jewish students.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 28, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a woman. In a shower cap, running into a flung pizza.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, DNA_Girl. I scored 100% on that quiz. I am surprised. But the questions seemed very easy to me. No guessing.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

15 out of 15. But that's the point about people like you and me, DNA_girl, and the point of their survey findings.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

A woman in a shower cap? Ah, now I get it.

No, I don't.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 28, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Funny how nonbelievers scored almost the highest (Jews scored the highest, on average) on that religion knowledge test.

It's like we know what we don't believe. I guess the word "faith" comes into play when you look at the lower percentages among the believers.

OK.. g'night folks. I think the warm milk and boring TV have finally done their job.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 28, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Interesting day & night of 'boodle action.

I got 100% on the religion quiz. I'm guessing it's a better predictor of breadth-of-reading than depth-of-faith.

Yello, count me among the fervent fans of your mini-festo early this morning. You summed up many of my feelings better than I could.

I love Maine Coons. If nothing else, they're meaty enough to make a decent meal when nothing else is left in the house. But bear in mind that when you take one (or more) on as roommates, you're gonna have to clean poopy-chunks out of their hind fur periodically, 'cuz they can't. It goes with the territory.

Y'all are the best!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 29, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

I got 14. No wonder I missed the last one. He was a leader of a religious reawakening AND he was the son of factory workers, too?

That guy should have tried to be President.

Posted by: baldinho | September 29, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

15/15 on the religion test. I'm kinda upset there were no questions about Pastafarianism. When will we be recognized as a legitimate cult, er, sect, er, faith?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

May you be forever touched by his noodly appendage, yello.

The finale of the Stewart/Colbert rallies HAS to be this song.

Ahh, I'll be in a good mood all day now.

Posted by: baldinho | September 29, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Did the religion quiz. 15/15. Got the Angry God one.

Yesterday's column by Steven Pearlstein may be worth re-reading a year from now.

"...You're about to create a political monster that you can't control, one bent not on reforming but on destroying the institutional framework that allows an advanced industrial economy to grow and thrive."

Down here, today looks like one of much-needed rain.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 29, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

14/15 not sure what question I got wrong but I am guessing it is either, can a teacher quote from the bible as literature (I said yes), or the leader of the first awakening (I said Finney?)

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I've never seen a pink hippo
And I never hope to see one
But I'd rather see a pink hippo
Than to be one.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse


Psst. Google "Sinner in the hands of an angry God."

Man, did we spend a lot of time on the Puritans in 10th grade English.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Actually I already googled it, I remember taking later revivals in US history, and the Salem witch hunts but I did not recall that "First Awakenings".

In fairness that question is more a US history question than about religion, well at least world religion.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 29, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I got 100% too, but that's more because of education than religious affiliation. Herein is the weakness of said quiz. The story even said that education correlated with high scores. So what does the poll mean? Not much, IMHO.

G'morning, all. Mr. T let me sleep in because it's raining, so no walk. So nice not to wake up till 7 o'clock!

Daniel Morgan, Mudge! I've been to Cowpens and walked over the battlefield. Tarleton was an arrogant idiot. The Geekdottir and I keep promising ourselves that one day, we will follow Cornwallis' trail from Charleston to Yorktown.

Well, I can't put off facing the day any longer. Hope it's a good one for you, Cassandra!

Posted by: slyness | September 29, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Surprisingly, I got 100% on the quiz. Mostly thru educated guesses on the ones I didn't know.

Hope you have as joyful a day today as you did yesterday Cassandra.

Stuck in the summer muggys here with today being forecast as mostly free of rain. Too bad it's not tomorrow when I have a day off.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 29, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit, I was tempted to turn off the "Daily Show" repeat early yesterday evening when Bill O'Factor was announced as the guest, but you know what? When he's not doing his monkey dance for the masses, he comes across as a decent schmo. It really does seem he and Stewart get along famously. Even his "excuse" for not attending the Rally for Sanity was funny!

I am so not looking forward to tomorrow's weather. 'Mudge, you still have that ark out on the back 40? *SIGH*

*breaking-out-the-sou'wester-(where-IS-that-boy-anyway?)-galoshes-and-DUCK Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Morning, y'all!

15/15 for me, too. Like several have pointed out, education and reading are the key. In my case, some terrific comparative religion/lit courses in college.

It's the fourth grey morning in a row here and I'm ready for some sunshine.

Wilbrod, thanks for all your feedback. The kids I helped to teach back in the day used implants and ASL in the classroom ... with a signing/speaking teacher. They were in inclusion classes with hearing students who quickly picked up signing. Marvelous.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 29, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Well, if one goes by the how the weather looks this morning, today will be quite depressing, but I'm not going that way. It going to be wet today, plenty wet.

I didn't take the test, probably would have failed it anyway. Not good with tests.

Lostinthought, you know you are a trip, a vacation at times. LOL!

Thanks badsneakers!

Time to get cracking, a lot to do. It is busy Wednesday. Have a great day, folks, in spite of the wet. Love to all.

Slyness, looking like more of the wet stuff here too. Glad you got a chance to sleep in.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 29, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

New kit.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 29, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

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