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Posted at 8:22 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Democrats defriend Obama

By Joel Achenbach

Lots of anguish, agonizing, defriending going on in Democratic circles. The left is hatin' on Obama, all but calling him a Judas for cutting a tax deal with the GOP. They're thinking this guy has no fight in him. They can't believe he didn't find a way to decouple the tax cuts for the rich and the tax cuts for the middle class. The deal contains noxious concessions to the very, very affluent in the provisions governing the estate tax. So the progressives will likely find someone to run against the president in the primaries, someone who can carry the liberal banner. If they can get a really strong candidate, maybe they can turn 2012 into a replay of 1980.

Oh, wait, that didn't turn out so well, did it...

Obama very much wants, and plans, to get reelected. He knows he has to win back the hearts of independent voters. In his mind, this tax cut deal contains a lot of good elements and, in extending the tax cuts for only two years, sets up a campaign debate that he thinks he can win. Given the fury of the Democratic left, I find it interesting to note the graphic in today's paper (I apologize for using such antiquated terms as "today's paper"), which reveals that, at least measured in terms of cost, the tax deal largely advances policies favored by Democrats or by both parties.

The payroll tax holiday, for example, cuts the highly regressive payroll tax for a year. That's real money in the pockets of average workers -- an excellent stimulus for the weak economy (if not exactly appealing to the deficit hawks).

Is Obama weak? That will be answered if he wins his second term and his strategy proves successful. Democratic presidents triangulate. Clinton did it, and now Obama is doing it. He took a shot at the sanctimonious left and reminded them that not everyone in America agrees with the New York Times editorial page. Obama will next take a shot at the New York Times op-ed page and find a way to throw Paul Krugman under the bus.

Yesterday, Jonathan Weisman posed the final question to Obama, asking him about his core values. Obama answered with an earful, which I'll paste in here in full because I think the person who best explains the president's philosophy is the president:

Q Where is your line in the sand?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, I've got a whole bunch of lines in the sand. Not making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent -- that was a line in the sand. Making sure that the things that most impact middle-class families and low-income families, that those were preserved -- that was a line in the sand. I would not have agreed to a deal, which, by the way, some in Congress were talking about, of just a two-year extension on the Bush tax cuts and one year of unemployment insurance, but meanwhile all the other provisions, the Earned Income Tax Credit or other important breaks for middle-class families like the college tax credit, that those had gone away just because they had Obama's name attached to them instead of Bush's name attached to them.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.

That can't be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America. Neither does The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Most Americans, they're just trying to figure out how to go about their lives and how can we make sure that our elected officials are looking out for us. And that means because it's a big, diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we're going to compromise. This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew.

Under the criteria that you just set out, each of those were betrayals of some abstract ideal. This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding. And if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a union.

So my job is to make sure that we have a North Star out there. What is helping the American people live out their lives? What is giving them more opportunity? What is growing the economy? What is making us more competitive? And at any given juncture, there are going to be times where my preferred option, what I am absolutely positive is right, I can't get done.

And so then my question is, does it make sense for me to tack a little bit this way or tack a little bit that way, because I'm keeping my eye on the long term and the long fight -- not my day-to-day news cycle, but where am I going over the long term?

And I don't think there's a single Democrat out there, who if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised.

Take a tally. Look at what I promised during the campaign. There's not a single thing that I've said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I haven't gotten it done yet, I'm still trying to do it.

And so the -- to my Democratic friends, what I'd suggest is, let's make sure that we understand this is a long game. This is not a short game. And to my Republican friends, I would suggest -- I think this is a good agreement, because I know that they're swallowing some things that they don't like as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years.

By Joel Achenbach  | December 8, 2010; 8:22 AM ET
 
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Next: Tax cut strategies: the untold story

Comments

Well, I can't fault the President for committing truth. I lean towards having let the tax cuts expire rather than give the rich even more of a break. But, if the deal holds together for the unemployment benefit extension and payroll tax cut, then maybe it is OK in the long run.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The whole notion of "permanent" in Washington makes me laugh.

As for Presidents being willing to sacrifice the good of the country in order to get reelected - though no one has actually said that - is another thing entirely. His real responsibility is to help us get a good President - and other officials - into office in '12, whether that be him or someone else. That's sufficient. And if it means falling on his sword, well, sometimes if you show you are willing to do that, it decreases the eventuality of having to actually do so.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Well *I* still love the guy. What he said shows yet again what an adult he is. My political leanings may be decidedly left of center, and they will likely remain so, but I am also quite aware that a more center (and *centered* btw) approach will get us farther more quickly than clinging to an absolutist "all or nothing" approach -- that's for children.

So ... like he said.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 8, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Cool strawberry lemonade, ice tea, and fresh fruit on the table.

In other words, chill out for a bit.

Take a few deep breaths.
Think of five things/people you're grateful for and thank each one.
Smile.
Gently shake out the tension in your neck and shoulders.
Take a few more slow deep breaths.
Smile again.

Posted by: MsJS | December 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm with ebnut on letting the tax cuts expire, but what bothers me is Obama's apparent negotiating style. Let's say that he's in Boston and the Republicans are in San Diego and they want to meet. He flies to Kansas City and says"Meet me in the middle." Then Boehner drives to Yuma and says "We're ready to deal." They finally meet in Santa Fe and Obama heralds the great compromise. Now don't get me wrong, I like Santa Fe. Santa Fe has GREAT food and lots of lovely museums and really nice mountains and forests nearby but it ain't halfway between Boston and San Diego, not by many many miles!

Posted by: kguy1 | December 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein thinks Obama got a better than expected deal:

http://wapo.st/gAwaz5

The FICA tax holiday is a great idea because it helps all working people but has no additional benefit for people making more than $106k a year, a fairly expansive working definition of middle class. For very selfish reasons, I like it better than 'rebates' that phase out.

The unemployment extension is a cost that can be reduced if the economy recovers dramatically.

Even the death, er, estate tax is a decent half loaf. For a previously major GOP talking point, they rolled over on it pretty quickly.

It also clearly paints the GOP as the party of the uber-rich, as if it needed to be, but that message is not one the Democrats have been able to exploit successfully.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm sooo laughing...yes, mudged myself again. But I'm not going to repost.

But wow, have I got the gift. Sometimes I just amaze myself. Why can't I transfer this talent to buying lottery tickets? Picking football games? Life is unfair (you can quote me on that).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I am, once again, simply in awe.

Either that is the most beautiful refutation of the idiotic teleprompter meme that one could possibly ask for, or a sign that Obama really is a Jedi master who had a multi-paragraph response ready for an uncomfortable question. That was 845 words in 10 paragraphs of extemporaneously explaining his political philosophy with clarity and elegance.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 8, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If this is the only deal to help the unemployed --- then pass it... Funny how we all were told that 890 billion would stop unemployment from growing higher...just another lie from this hapless Administration of radicals and liars. Next they will try to make you believe that there really was a summer of recovery and shovel ready jobs....whats the next cutesy phrase coming from Obama ? Stay tuned...

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | December 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad that you included the entire text of the President's remarks. I think it is a wonderful statement of a grown-up approach to governing. The President gave up the thrill of stickin' it to the rich because he believes that by doing so in the only way available to him, he would have ended up stickin' it to the country.

I bristled a lot when I heard that the tax cuts for people above 250K were going to be continued, but I recognized that this was a dead issue well before the midterms. It should have been obvious to everyone for months that there was no way that the Republicans were going to approve this. The time for screaming and gnashing of teeth was before the Senate vote, not after. The President isn't a king, and no amount of testosterone was going to overcome a filibuster.

But here's the main point. I'm not sure if Obama made the correct call. And this is how it should be. To me a President isn't supposed to do exactly what I would do, because I'm not the one whose full time job is running the country. The President is the one who studies issues, gets the best advice available, and then does what he thinks best. And because I am confident that Obama has done his due diligence and has convinced me that he has the intelligence and judgment to make the right calls, I will cut him some slack. He has earned my respect.

Where I lose respect is when a President doesn't do this. When the answers to all questions are contained within the little booklet of ideological solutions for all occasions. This approach, to me, is intellectually lazy and best left to those on the Right. To me a President should be a leader and not a hired gun. And Obama is a leader.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 8, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, you really called that one right, JungleJim. Compromising with the GOP and extending the Bush tax cuts, especially for the wealthy-- what a radical, crazy, pinko, commie-socialist flaming bleeding-heart liberal thing to do! Is that Obama guy outa control or what? I mean, Karl Marx and Lenin (Vladimir, not the Beatle) must be doin' high fives in their graves. Can a total socialist takeover be far behind?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

enuf food, drink and board games in the bunker?

Posted by: ftb3 | December 8, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Bachmann and others on the right think this deal is a total sell-out of Tea Party Principles. So there's that.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 8, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

On discovering one hates the rich. Or is it the coming thing?
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/04/1885385/is-us-entering-a-hate-the-rich.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Mudge, *I've* always been a huge fan of Groucho and John. If that makes me a Marxist-Lenin(Lennon)ist, that is something I will embrace with pleasure.

I actually liked all of the Marxists in that family, even if Zeppo didn't turn up all that often.

But I digress. . . . .

RD_P -- you bet.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Ezra Klein I am very displeased that yet another fact-free blog has taken its place on the Opinion homepage. It's one of the better researched blog together with Nat Silver's 531 at the NYT. But the Wapo buries it under a generic right-leaning non-original blog. *sigh*

The GOP made the posts move from $3.5 millions to $5 millions on the estate tax trigger point to capture the very important demographics included in that gap. I don't know how to do it but the democrats should find a way to make the label of the Party of the Very Rich stick to the GOP. The Corporate noise will be deafening at the next presidential election if the recent mid-terms are any indication.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 8, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

JungleJim, I'm still trying to understand how being wrong about something -- and it's clear that the Obama Administration was wrong about the level to which unemployment could be held and wrong about how quickly it could reverse -- anyway, I'm still trying to understand how being wrong about a prediction is the same as telling a lie.

Please enlighten me: name one instance in which it can be shown that the Obama Administration had verifiable facts in hand but went out and told a falsehood that has since been demonstrated to be actually false. In other words, please prove that a lie has actually been told.

I disagree with you on the issue of "radicals" also -- I think there has been plenty of evidence to show that this Administration is much more willing to accept feasible half-measures than the unfeasible all-or-nothing philosophy of those people who could truly be called "radicals".

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

But the rich look so cute and cuddly when they try to do things like mop the floor when they are on Undercover Boss. Then they go and buy Tim a Christmas Goose and all is good again.

Meanwhile, each of the Walmart heirs can now pass on an extra 300 million to their kids instead of building libraries or curing malaria or something.

An if you have a rich uncle, off him before the end of the year because the estate tax is currently zero.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"If they can get a really strong candidate, maybe they can turn 2012 into a replay of 1980.

Oh, wait, that didn't turn out so well, did it..."

Absolutely brilliant. In politics, the perfect is so often the enemy of the good. Thank you, Joel, for printing Obama's actual statement, which illustrates this process so well. Fortunately, RD has already made my substantive comment, so I can relax.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 8, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Joel, thank you for posting. That was a fantastic response to the question posed. The third, fourth and fifth paragraphs in particular are worth rereading and referring to from time to time as a reminder.

I find his idea of a president is similar to my own. I guess that's why "The Decider" left such a bad taste in my mouth.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | December 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

ftb, I've always thought that Marxism had its very finest moment when Harpo and Groucho did that mirror-image thing in their nightshirts. As far as the high-watermark of Lennonism, I've always believed it was the flick "A Hard Day's Night."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

...although there's much to be said for Sergeant Pepper's.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all. Have been absent for a few days and backboodling frantically ... if I missed something and make a faux pas, please forgive. (The Eliz.Edwards kit'n'boodle was too brief but very moving.)

Echoing the thanks here to J.A. for posting Obama's full answer ... for so many reasons already stated by more erudite boodlers than I am. I'm just as proud as ever, despite some quibbles, that I campaigned and voted for him and he still has my support.

These lines got to me --- "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding. And if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a union." Having grown up in the South at the tail end of Jim Crow, knowing so many good folks who still "couldn't go through the front door", my heart rolled over reading that!

Posted by: talitha1 | December 8, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

...and to put you all in the proper Christmas spirit:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1909243034?bctid=53156488001

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama: the American quisling.

Posted by: ChrisRestonVA | December 8, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Gee, ChrisRestonVA, I didn't know Obama was Norwegian. Man, ya learn something new every day on the Boodle, dontcha?

Mudge, dearheart, Sgt. Pepper always left a bad taste in my mouth. Oh, wait! That was *Dr. Pepper*.

Never mind .........

Posted by: ftb3 | December 8, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the full remarks, Mr. Achenbach. I get a much better feel for context and nuance with the longer response.

Chris, thank you for that well timed and informative post.

Posted by: cowhand214 | December 8, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Qui" words can be fun. The quick quirky quisling quibbled over the quirt at quoits.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

If Michelle Bachmann thinks this deal is a bad thing, then it must be very good indeed!

Posted by: ebtnut | December 8, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Quite so, IM.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Quintessentially speaking, of course.

I was unaware Obama was cooperating with an occupying power. Have we been occupied? (I admit to being pre-occupied from time to time, so I may have missed it).

So who was it took us over? The wily Canadians? The Brits took us back? Al Qaeda? The Bader-Meinhof gang? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I think "The Wily Canadians" would be a good name for a rock band.

Is that "rock band" notion original to me? I seem to recall hearing the same concept somewhere before...

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope it's the Marxist brothers, Mudge. I miss Chico's piano playing something awful.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I'm glad the President's throwing some elbows in the paint, forcefully clearing out some space in the middle (Please don't cue Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle" - I can't ever hear that without thinking of the movie "Reservoir Dogs." But I digress.), but can he slow things down enough to keep the the other sides from raining 3-pointers down, while still having enough support to control the inside?

Triangulating seems logical, but so much media regarding American politics these days caters to the far wings of both sides - is there enough left of the Fungible Left- and Right-centers who to give him resources and support for all those other things left to do, much less garner a successful reelection in '12?

We shall see.

Reposted from Previous Boodling:

"On this sad anniversary of John Lennon's death, I felt compelled to repost something I wrote in the Achenblog a couple of years ago, in response to Boodler Nani's feelings upon hearing of Lennon's death six months after her husband had passed away:

'Nani, I'm sorry for your loss.

I remember when Lennon died, darn near 25 years ago now.

I was a senior in High School at the time. When I heard the news on TV that night, I went and told my mom, who cried for a long time.

The next day, I stayed after school to paste up the student newspaper (I was managing editor) with the Editor, a beautiful intelligent young lady I was secretly in love with, but alas, was involved with a young man who was in the Armed Forces. While we were laying everything out, the local rock radio station was playing a continous tribute to Lennon.

We talked about her boyfriend, deployed who-knows-where, Lennon, the Beatles, life and love while we discussed headlines and columns. When we were done, she broke down in tears, and I held her for an eternal second as the radio played. We swayed together, and I remember the smell of her hair, stronger for being wet with my tears as I write this now, as if it happened a second ago.

bc

Posted by: bc | November 15, 2005 10:05 AM'

bc

Posted by: bc | December 8, 2007 11:30 PM"

RT/Carlos - I will indeed stop in for eggs next time I can sit down and eat at the LK.

Sorry for the horrific length and my dreadful reeling off-topic.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

saved by ipconfig /flushdns
command

Posted by: russianthistle | December 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

bc, just popped back. Waiting to hear back from Carlos ... he has an epic task to find a lost password

Posted by: russianthistle | December 8, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of quintessential, the NYT magazine's Hollywood Issue features 14 great actors/resses doing short (30 sec. to a minute) acting pieces, no dialog, no story, just the actor and some props, demonstrating acting. Javier Bardem having a hissy fit with plates and glasses, Natalie Portman taking of her dress and Marilyn Monroe wig, Matt Damon p.o.'ed, James Franco flirting and kissing himself, Tilda Swinton having a religious experience (maybe), Robert Duvall shaving, etc. Here's Noomi Rapace, smoking a cigarette and singing a torch song. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/12/magazine/14actors.html?hp#9

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Give me your tired canards, your poor excuses,
Your muddled a$$es yearning to drink tea...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120801507.html?hpid=moreheadlines

I guess becoming "Sarah Palin Lite" (if such a thing is possible) beats working for living.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 8, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good news, kguy!

Now, she should be able to eat out occasionally at Red Lobster and pay her house payments.

I was further heartened to read that her PAC will be issues oriented.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

kguy,
The Rule of Two: There shall always be a master and an apprentice.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 8, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

As someone who voted for Obama, I think this was a decent compromise and puts him back on track for reelection--which, as of now, would be a positive outcome for the country given the lineup of goofballs and party hacks whom the Republicans currently have lined up for the 2012 nomination.

As a Republican and balanced-budgeter, I would have liked to see them take a longer term view and trade away the extension of upper class income and estate tax cuts for reductions in spending, a start to rationalization of the tax code and the beginnings of entitlement reform.

Posted by: Awal | December 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice that the Elizabeth Edwards kit is up on the front page (editorials) and drawing some 'interesting' comments?

Posted by: talitha1 | December 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll take the role of Devil's Advocate here (even though the Vatican disestablished the role in 1983). Those were sure some pretty words the President spoke. Let's look at some of them:

"Not making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent -- that was a line in the sand." How long would have been acceptable? We know two years was. Four years? Heck, even Bush himself only put them in for a maximum of ten years (some less than that). Would Obama have accepted another ten if the Republicans had demanded it? Where's the evidence that he would not have?

"This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans."

Nope, not correct. The President is wrong. Google the Act yourself (Social Security Act of 1935). Here's the introduction to the bill:

"An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes."

Nope, not just widows and orphans, although they were certainly included. But the focus was assisting the old-aged who had never had a retirement plan of any kind, and then lived in Poverty. It has certainly expanded in scope since then.


Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

(trying to post this again; apologies if it shows up twice.)

Okay, I'll take the role of Devil's Advocate here (even though the Vatican disestablished the role in 1983). Those were sure some pretty words the President spoke. Let's look at some of them:

"Not making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent -- that was a line in the sand." How long would have been acceptable? We know two years was. Four years? Heck, even Bush himself only put them in for a maximum of ten years (some less than that). Would Obama have accepted another ten if the Republicans had demanded it? Where's the evidence that he would not have?

"This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans."

Nope, not correct. The President is wrong. Google the Act yourself (Social Security Act of 1935). Here's the introduction to the bill:

"An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes."

Nope, not just widows and orphans, although they were certainly included. But the focus was assisting the old-aged who had never had a retirement plan of any kind, and then lived in Poverty. It has certainly expanded in scope since then.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

talitha, thanks for pointing out the comments on the previous kit, it is not everyday that you see a post bemoaning the lack of Pulitzer for the National Enquirer!

Interesting indeed.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 8, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

BC- touching story. I held and was held at the same John Lennon dream-time similarly but the occasion was next to an amino acid analyzer. I was looking into the fume hood and he was watching the peaks on the analyzer. Later, we cut and weighed the peaks from the long strip of paper feedout, for that was the quick way to calculate the area under the tickmarks...you reminded me of a simpler time; when a complex and doomed love was sweet and tentative.

Thank you. Miss Nani. Miss Error.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 8, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I kept looking for the Onion logo, but apparently this is real-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/10/atheists-erect-billboard-_n_712468.html

"Atheists in Oklahoma City have erected a billboard seeking fellow non-believers, and Satanists have scheduled a conference in a city-owned building"

As a former resident of the Sooner state, I find it hard to believe that there is more than one atheist in OKC.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 8, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Miss Error."

"What'dya mean, Miss?"

"I'm sorry, I have a cold."

(sorry CquaP, you know I can't help myself) :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 8, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"I find it hard to believe that there is more than one atheist in OKC."

kguy, they're probably from Norman. *ducking*

Posted by: talitha1 | December 8, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Unbelieveable! Obama:

"This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew."

Both lies! Obama is not only a liar, but still pushing Republican memes. The "progressives" stuck us with not only a Republican but a far right wing lying Republican.

Posted by: BostonBoomer | December 8, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable! Obama:

"This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew."

Both lies! Obama is not only a liar, but still pushing Republican memes. The "progressives" stuck us with not only a Republican but a far right wing lying Republican.

Posted by: BostonBoomer | December 8, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious how those are lies. Please explain, BostonBoomer.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 8, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I checked SSA.gov history directly. While that act of 1935 technically established federal Social Security, social security programs were in place before then, at a state level.

1) Pensions.

"Following the Civil War, there were hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans, and hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans. In fact, immediately following the Civil War a much higher proportion of the population was disabled or survivors of deceased breadwinners than at any time in America's history. This led to the development of a generous pension program, with interesting similarities to later developments in Social Security."

This likely is what Obama referred to, as this was the first national program to provide for widows, disabled, or orphans at all.

"The Civil War Pension program began shortly after the start of the War, with the first legislation in 1862 providing for benefits linked to disabilities "incurred as a direct consequence of . . .military duty." Widows and orphans could receive pensions equal in amount to that which would have been payable to their deceased solider if he had been disabled. In 1890 the link with service-connected disability was broken, and any disabled Civil War veteran qualified for benefits. In 1906, old-age was made a sufficient qualification for benefits. So that by 1910, Civil War veterans and their survivors enjoyed a program of disability, survivors and old-age benefits similar in some ways to the later Social Security programs."

So he's correct; this program was narrow, and we wouldn't qualify for that today.

Another precursor, at the state level:
2) Old-age pensions. 30 states had programs in place before 1935.


To quote: "These were welfare programs, eligibility for which was based on proof of financial need. By 1934, most states had such "pension" plans. Even at the state level, however, these plans were inadequate. Some had restrictive eligibility criteria which resulted in many of the elderly being unable to qualify. The most generous plan paid a maximum of $1 per day.

In the Congress, the consensus of conventional wisdom was for more old-age assistance like that available in the states."

I invite you to read through http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

It includes the role of socialists, Thomas Paine, Huey Long, and other firebrands in establishing the concept of national social security as a social good.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 8, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I got crab cakes, seasoned rice, and Caesar salad for dinner. I hope the chenin blanc is up to it, cuz it's the only white wine I have at the moment.

Anyone interested?

Oh, and mocha creme brulee for dessert.

Posted by: MsJS | December 8, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

That sounds great, MsJS. Thanks! I'll be standing by the fax machine with napkin tucked firmly under my chin.

(I am currently pre-heating the oven for a Wegman's Self-Rising Pizza.)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 8, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

*faxing to TBG, trying hard not to crush the croutons*

Posted by: MsJS | December 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Have a crock pot full of pulled pork if anyone is interested, so good on a cold night.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 8, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I've got mussels mariniere, real baguette, green salad.

Posted by: Yoki | December 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Nicely done, Wilbrod.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - except that when you go back and read what Obama said, he specifically said when FDR started Social Security. So he wasn't referring to the "widows and orphans" pensions from earlier. And he was wrong.

It's not a big deal, and I'm sorry for picking on this unnecessarily. It's just that he said some pretty words in response to a question, and I was simply pointing out that in that long, extemporaneous speech he made some errors and glossed over some facts. No more, no less.

Huey Long - now THERE was a Socialist for you! There were three full chapters on him in my 8th grade Louisiana History text. One on his career leading up to his Gubernatorial election. One on him as Governor. And one on him as Senator, on the national scene. And they were all really positive about him - nary a criticism in sight. (The chapter about what was left of his organization after his assassination was short and glossed over all the convictions for fraud, embezzlement, extortion, etc.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 8, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Hot tamale pie" is when you make chili with all the usual suspects (using both tomato paste and a big can of whole tomatoes) but instead of beans, it gets two cans of creamed corn, two cups of milk, a cup of masa harina, and then large slabs of pepper jack cheese melted into it after it simmers in the crockpot for an hour. There is no actual pie.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

AB, "FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans" could mean before he put his own stamp on it. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

You're right. It was an error, Army Brat. Wrong on the act of 1935, not wrong on that the first national attempt was much smaller-scale than modern Social Security.

Oh, I barely know who Huey Long is other than he was down Louisiana way with all that entails (ring up all the jokes about Louisiana politicans being unbuyable-- only rentable, etc.)

I'm not even sure why he was killed, or whom by. Should I rectify that?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 8, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Mussels mariniere! That's the way I prepare them, too, but I can't get them here in the valley and I got so spoiled in Baltimore. All of you are making me drool ... no fax here so I'll partake in my imagination.

Posted by: talitha1 | December 8, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know ... same thing.
It's the whetted appetite making my brain synapses misfire.

Posted by: talitha1 | December 8, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

"no fax here so I'll partake in my imagination."

Talitha... I see absolutely nothing wrong with that statement.

:-)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Yuumm! All sounds sooo good.

I had pot roast, creamed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry bread pudding for supper at church. I think I'll hire the cook full-time when I win the lottery.

I'll take Obama with a mistake or two any day of the week over the Republican field. YMMV.

Posted by: slyness | December 8, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - it's worth learning the basics of Huey Long to understand how an absolute dictatorship can take power. Huey was the closest thing the United States has ever seen to an absolute dictator, and he had designs on extending his power to the nation. He controlled the state, having been Governor and Senator at the same time for two years. Even when he wasn't Governor, he controlled all the patronage, collected kickbacks ("deducts") from every single state paycheck, and required every state employee and appointee to submit a signed, undated resignation letter to him upon starting work. He got tired of you, he wrote in the date and accepted it.

On the plus side: he reined in the oil companies that had previously controlled the state; he built the largest, most modern highway system in the US; he funded the schools; he provided free textbooks and supplies to every student in the state; he built the largest state-funded hospital system in the country (it provided free health care to every citizen in the state who wanted it); provided immunizations; virtually eliminated property taxes via a "homestead exemption" (taxes on the oil companies essentially funded the state); built LSU into a respectable university; built its medical school; and generally took care of the "little people." (You can see why many in LA revere him to this day.)

The downside was that he truly was an absolute dictator, and caused the formation of armed paramilitary units opposed to him. He took cuts and kickbacks from everything; he controlled everything; and if he didn't like you you were through.

He wasn't well-enough known nationally in 1932 to defeat FDR in the Democratic primary, so he backed FDR. He came to regard the New Deal as too weak and Republican in nature; his plan was called "Share our Wealth." It would have prohibited any person from ever being worth more than 10 million dollars (although he himself was secretly worth way more than that) and would have seized everything above that from the Rockefellers, Fords, Baruchs, Kennedys, etc.

Long's plan was to see if he could beat FDR for the Democratic nomination in 1936. Assuming he couldn't, he'd support the Republican candidate and throw the election his way. Then the Republican would destroy the economy, and Huey would sweep into the White House on a tidal wave in 1940. It just might have worked, too.

As far as why he was assassinated, the immediate cause was that he had called the Louisiana Legislature into session to pass laws eliminating some of his enemies and consolidating his power. (Bear in mind his official position was US Senator at the time.) He was ramming through a law wiping out a judge's position. The judge's son-in-law was in the State Capitol and shot Huey.

Given the level of armed opposition that existed at that time, there was going to be a shootout at some time; Carl Weiss (the killer) just minimized the bloodshed by causing he and Huey to be the only ones killed.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 8, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

But the best reason for learning about Huey Long is that Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men" makes a lot more sense. (Penn Warren was a young professor at LSU when Huey was killed.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 8, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I made roast Quisling for dinner, such a nice treat this time of year! I salted it this morning and placed it in the fridge, to draw out moisture from the skin, rendering it crispier after roasting. Carved up nicely, with some left for lunch tomorrow.

Especially good served it with Quince, Quiona and Nestle's QuiK.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 8, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Which Presidential candidate said this in the runup to the 2008 election?

Foreign Relations – “When we’re mad we’ll use our words. Then the rest of the world will play nice with us. And the only boom-booms will be in our pants.”

No, it wasn't John McCain.

Posted by: baldinho | December 8, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Sounds quite good, dbG. Did you quarter it?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 8, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Angelina Jolie is on Larry King, gotta go.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 8, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I've been hankering for some chili ever since the cold weather blew in, and finally made some tonight. A haphazard affair of browned onions & meat, a couple of different beans, and random amounts of seasonings. Oh, and the jalapeños. And some other stuff.

This stuff is quite tasty but (-koff-koff-) has a bit of kick. Since it's my experience that many dishes which are spicy when freshly prepared seem even more so after overnight storage, I fear that it may be a bit formidable when I take it to work for lunch.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Ken Burns made a film on Huey Long, which, I assume, is close-captioned:

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/hueylong/

T. Harry Williams wrote a well-known biography of him. He's a fascinating character.

Posted by: -pj- | December 8, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, TBG, and served drawn butter on the side.

Doesn't take much to amuse me.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 8, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Louisiana politics:

Years ago my dad was monitoring some federal education programs in Louisiana. He and a couple of his colleagues went down to check on the program as it was reaching its conclusion. They discovered that some of the money was used to give contributions to some of Louisiana's politicians. They came back to Washington and wisely decided not to continue funding that particular program.

Posted by: -pj- | December 8, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

kguy - In the OK City billboard story, I found this particular quote to demonstrate an amusing disregard (or lack) of self-aware irony:

\|/ \|/ \|/
"It's not a question of 'Can you?' It's a question of 'Should you?'" said Dan Fisher, pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon. "It's kind of like they're poking a finger in your eye."
/|\ /|\ /|\

I'll note that the good folks at Trinity ( http://www.trinityyukon.com/ ) don't appear to believe that there's anything shameful about stating *their* position clearly:

From the home page of their website:

\|/ \|/ \|/
"We exist to reach the unchurched of the Canadian Valley Area and connect them to a vibrant community of believers who are experiencing spiritual transformation through a passionate commitment to Christ and His Word."
/|\ /|\ /|\

I'm fully in favor of Trinity's efforts to bring enlightenment to the unchurched, as I wholeheartedly believe that they wholeheartedly believe that the store of the world's happiness will be increased thusly. But unless this evangelism is being undertaken awfully stealthily, it seems like they might be involved in a bit of eye-poking of their own.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

As an "unchurched of the Canadian Valley Area" I must say that any churching effort expanded on me might well be wasted energy.
I just realized that Huey Long was Maurice Duplessis' model. If he could have read English that is.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

My uncle worked in the La Highway Department and did not care for the deduct. Not at all.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

That's some wide and deep valley, that one.

Posted by: Yoki | December 8, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - One of my great grandfathers was sometimes heard to express loud & disparaging thoughts about both of the governors Talmadge (Eugene & Herman, of Georgia), whose hands (he opined) dug a bit deep into the till on occasion.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 8, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Y'all don't be hatin' on the atheists and Satanists and their Christian friends here, now. If nothing else these stories show that hereabouts even nonbelievers are passionate about their belief. We need some proselytizing from the Apatheticists, that's what.

Funny and true: the Satanists got a permit for space in a city building to hold an event. It took a while before anyone noticed, then someone decided to make it into news. This led to publicity. This led to the discovery that the Satanists, who appeared to be loosely organized at best, had given their money and authority to a treasurer who was some kind of registered sex offender or something and I think stealing the money. They kicked him out. He called the city and cancelled the event. The rest of the Satanists, now going by a different name, called to say it wasn't either cancelled, he had no authority. The promoter explained eventually that the planned event wasn't really a rite or ritual and in fact had no significance, it was all just for show. I have no idea whether the event was held.

All of the dinners sound good but I am especially impressed by jumper's hot tamale pie.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 8, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

First we gave you Bieber, and now this.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/12/08/harper-concert.html?ref=rss

Posted by: dmd3 | December 8, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Lulz, Ivansmom. I recommend passionate proselytizing from the Apatheticists.

Posted by: Yoki | December 8, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

On Assange's sex charges
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1307137/Supporters-dismissed-rape-accusations-WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange--women-involved-tell-different-story.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 8, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I find the phenomenon of "WikiLeaks" to be interesting.

Julian Assange, not so much.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 8, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Not at all

Posted by: Yoki | December 8, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

A silver lining to the tax cut/unemployment benefit deal is can we all agree that the GOP has to stuff a sock in it regarding being fiscally conservative and all concerned about the debt?

I realize that GOP partisans will still make such claims, but come on. Those are election season claims only.

Posted by: baldinho | December 9, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

This is such a a good kit and caboodle! We had our wills redone this year and thus discovered the Fed's estate tax law(s) had expired. I told all my dear friends it would be a good time to die, from their heirs' stand point, dontchaknow?

Well, Joel, I'm taking names of all these fair weather friends in the Demo Party who have defriended Obama. He was the best person for the job and he still is. I believe his reply which you posted here just about sez it all. The man is intelligent; he knows when he has got the best deal for the American public and he know when he's got all he's gonna get. Anybody want to let me know who should be on The List of the Defriended just put the names up here. Thanks.

"You gotta know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your winnings
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealings done."

Thanks Kenny

Posted by: VintageLady | December 9, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

The problem with dealing with Apatheticists and Anarchists is getting someone to sign the paperwork.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Apatheticists
Unite! Our cause has....hmm, run
out of syllables

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 9, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Nothing as good as a little quicksliver DNA girl in the morn! And, VL, so glad you are doing well.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 9, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

would apatheticists even capitalize words?

:-)

*wandering-through-another-unexpectedly-busy-day-in-search-of-coffee-and-fun Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

apatheticists=hardtopronounce

"but I can tell you anyhow, I'd rather see than be one"...

Posted by: VintageLady | December 9, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

CQP1

Still kickin'

Posted by: VintageLady | December 9, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

We do care about
batting i's and drinking t's
just not...well you know

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 9, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

And about eating
our peas and standing in queues
just not...well you know

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 9, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The Quizno's Quiet Quidditch Quiz.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

This quaint quilter is quacking up!

Good morning to all ... DNA_Girl, you're sizzling.

dbG, roast quisling ... Ha! I want to know about the 'salt and refrigerate to produce crisp skin' technique. That's a new one on me, though it makes perfect sense. (I always roast chickens with quartered onions and lemons in the cavity, seasoned and buttered on the outside.)

Posted by: talitha1 | December 9, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Sweet Caroline Mulroney, dmd. That guy Harper's the Nickelback of Canadian politics.

Posted by: byoolin1 | December 9, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Baldino: I see now where Michelle Bachmann is coming around to "earmarks" - only for necessary public projects of course (but aren't they all good for the local district?). The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 9, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Seems we have a viable "private rocketship" on our hands:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/science/space/09rocket.html

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Baldinho. Sorry.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

jumper - I'm sure he didn't. Very few people like "donating" a part of their salary to their boss. But if you want the job you do what's required.

Or you can flourish, like Robert Maestri. With his third-grade education, he became Mayor of New Orleans. His line of business was his furniture store. Most of his profit came from selling mattresses to bordellos (really). He became mayor by being a friend of Huey's (Huey hated Mayor Wamlsley). After Huey's death, a compromise was "negotiated" in which Mayor Walmsley resigned; Maestri was appointed Mayor; and the state legislature canceled the next election so that Maestri could serve 6 years as mayor without every actually having run in an election. Oh, by the way, his mattress sales skyrocketed after he became mayor. Even more so after he struck a deal with Frank Costello and his pals to ignore prostitution and gambling laws in exchange for a cut of the profits.

Maryland politics is just so boring. :-)

If you ever want to measure political power, see who can control a state (or province if you like :-) for 25 years after his death. There were no Republicans to speak of in Louisiana at that time (not until 1972, in fact). They were all Democrats. Elections were "Longite" vs. "anti-Long" or sometimes "Old Regular" up until 1960. The only reason it stopped then was because Russell Long (Huey's son), Gillis Long, Speedy O. Long, and the rest of them, were more interested in Congressional politics than the state. That opened the way for such characters as Edwin Edwards, David Duke, Kathleen Blanco, and others.

Maryland politics is just boring. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | December 9, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, will get back to you on that tonight with amt of salt and time.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm on several of those bargain of the day sites and today they are giving away 20 weeks of WaPo for $27. I don't know how that compares to the regular subscription, but it seems like a good deal.

http://livingsocial.com/deals/17834-20-weeks-of-the-washington-post-27?msdc_id=1&ref=DCDeal120910_1_2123email

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Count me among the disenchanted.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/08/104986/under-obamas-deal-taxes-will-rise.html

"The break-even point is $20,000 for an individual and $40,000 for a couple. All other things being equal, make less than those figures in a year, and your taxes will go up come Jan. 1, 2011. Make more and they'll go down."

"For the high-income workers, the newest tax deal could bring in more than $2,000 for an individual or $4,000 for a couple, since they will see a 2 percentage point drop in their Social Security tax rates from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent."

So the question is, are these folks making minimum wage the ones we want to bear the brunt of the recession?

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

No bonus points for guessing which Boodler already has this on his or her bookshelf:

http://celebs.icanhascheezburger.com/2010/12/07/funny-celebrity-pictures-enterprise-owners-manual/

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Okay, this raised my blood pressure about 40 points:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/12/westboro_church_to_protest_eli.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Those folks from Westboro, all they are out for is publicity. What did Elizabeth Edwards ever have to do with gays? At best, they are an embarrassment to those of us who try to live by God's word.

I loved today's editorial cartoon in the Charlotte Observer:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/08/1896547/elizabeth-edwards.html

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, I was watching the SpaceX Falcon-9/Dragon flight yesterday with one eye, hoping for the best...

Bloody thing worked perfectly as far as I can tell. Remarkable.

I am somewhat surprised that President Obama is not making more of this -- seems to me that the flight is a validation of the Adminsitration's human space flight policies i.e. incenting private corporations to build and operate the Earth to low Earth orbit (LEO) systems, and setting NASA to work on science and technology development, including those for deep space or long term missions.

We'll see how things are going for that last.

I was really not in favor of the strategy, but this was impressive.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different-

http://www.kotulas.com/deals/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10602&storeId=10152&productId=11260&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=&top_category=

and be sure to check out-

http://www.kotulas.com/deals/flair-hair-with-brown-hair-and-camo-visor

After all, folks, Christmas is a'coming!

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

kguy, regarding atheists in Oklahoma:

The Unitarian fellowship in Tulsa is reputed to be the largest of that denomination in the world. My dad, who recently became a member there, says that people who identify themselves as Unitarians are often just "atheists who can't give up the church-going habit."

http://www.allsoulschurch.org/

I really like that church. I was there on Thanksgiving Sunday; the anthem was "Blackbird" by P. McCartney.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Too funny kguy, even funnier that a "not for use while moving, slippery when wet" disclaimer needed to be added. Must say with out the description I would never have known what is was for, I was thinking a holder for an animal after hunting.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If you're having trouble contibuting to WikiLeaks I'd suggest consulting this website.
http://www.datacell.com/news.php

Posted by: Boomslang | December 9, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

kb, my family story about perceptions of Unitarians (stop me if I've told this one before):

My father is secularly Jewish; my mother is a lapsed Protestant. Her mother threw enough of a fit when they got engaged that they more or less eloped (a few non-fit-throwing friends & relatives were there).

Fast-forward 30-some years, and my sister is engaged to an atheist/maybe kinda Buddhist who had moved here from China 10-ish years before. My grandmother was unhappy to hear that the wedding would be performed by a justice of the peace: "You could get a Unitarian minister. They don't believe anything!"

Why a celebrant who doesn't believe anything is better than one who is explicitly secular was never clear to me. My guess is that, to my grandmother, things were to be done a certain way because that was they way they were done. And weddings were to be performed by ministers. The 30-some years did mellow her some, though. After her suggestion was ignored, she nevertheless managed to come to the wedding and apparently enjoy herself.

Posted by: -bia- | December 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not having any trouble contributing to them, Boomslang. None at all.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Downloaded some of those forbidden documents. Don't like what Assange has done. Some places we're walking tightrope; he's shaking the rope.

One of my favorite Dylan tunes from Self Portrait:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nSkhxA7FPg

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

For those with fevered brow:
http://www.kotulas.com/deals/gifts-and-gadgets/energy-savers-and-solar/solar-hat

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'll bet Todd and Sarah have one of those Pickup Potty\Camocrappers for their family outings aka "Run, Bambi, run and don't look back!"

Regarding U-U's (Unitarian-Universalists), a friend once described them as "atheists with kids".

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

What bothers me is the lack of democracy. The Dems have a majority in both houses of Congress, and they had to do this.

LTL-CA

Posted by: Jim19 | December 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if that camocrapper seat is hinged, so you can put it up when you only have to pee.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Stewart on suicidal money. The last line is very good.
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-7-2010/the-big-bank-theory

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Just got a FB page from a friend; there are folks organizing to prevent the Westboro glasshats from getting close to Elizabeth Edwards' funeral. Good for them! Wish I could go.

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Can you find a transcript?

Printing money to offset debts landed Germany into hyperinflation after WWI and directly led to the rise of Hitler, so this strategy is dangerous.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Armybrat,thank you for that synopsis of Huey Long's vivid career.

A good reminder why we always need checks and balances, and why some inefficiency is far better than that kind of centralized power.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

In refusing to use Keynesian stimuli they are going to force us into '70s style stagflation.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 9, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

bia -- that's a funny story about your grandmother. Reminds me of a few things that went on in my own family.

slyness -- wish I could be part of the defense group, too, against the glasshats. Elizabeth Edwards was one fine woman, very self-aware in a society that requires women to be either perfect or dead, and she will be missed very greatly.

Mudge, there were a few things I wanted to say to your 3:00 post, but thought better of it (and laughing too hard).

Posted by: ftb3 | December 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think we've learned the hyperinflation lesson, although a few of the students in South America and Africa are slow to catch a clue.

I wouldn't mind a round of inflation long enough to shrink my liabilities to nothing as long as my salary were indexed (which it isn't and won't be). The Israelis seem to have found a way to institutionalize those adjustments.

The problem is that a world currency only gets to play that card once.

I don't see stagflation coming back since it was an indirect result of the oil price shock. It's the deflation demon which some people seem more nervous about.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I was relevedd to see that the camocrapper is buit with the Magnum Hunter in mind, rated up to 500lbs.
Just make sure to use the blaze orange TP so that other hunters don't see you as a 500lbs bambi disguised in camo. http://www.kotulas.com/deals/rutt-wipe-blaze-orange-toilet-paper-2pack

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

SCC relieved

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 9, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Obviously by introducing the Boodle to kotulas.com I have opened Pandora's box or at the very least Pandora's outhouse.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 9, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That Kotula's website is fantastic. I used to work with an outdoorsman that left the Cabela's catalog in the reading room but that never had sh.., er, stuff this good.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 9, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

So the car containing the Prince of Wales and his wife was attacked while they were on the way to the theatre. Last time that happened may have been October 29, 1795, when King George III's carriage was attacked while en route to the opening of Parliament. (George III: America's last king by Jeremy Black, via Google Books).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 9, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Camilla does not look amused, in this pic!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/student-protesters-attack-prince-charless-car-during-row-over-tuition/article1831398/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Among our most treasured items are the letters the kids have written to Santa, I also love technology but it does not always improve things, case in point.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/letters-to-santa-theres-an-app-for-that/article1831997/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, DaveotC, Victoria was attacked several times. The Princess Royal was attacked a number of years ago as well. No harm to her person, but damage to the vehicle, I think...

We made it up the mountain. Amazing that there is no snow until one gets to a certain elevation and then there is lots of it. A chilly 27 degrees on our porch. I'm staying inside.

Posted by: slyness | December 9, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Monty Python & the Holy Grail's on IFC right now...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 9, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I think I recall a gun being fired while Elizabeth was in a parade, she was riding on a horse at the time.

My record for remembering useless info continues,

http://mandysroyalty.org/royal_rep/tag/hm-queen-elizabeth-ii/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 9, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

the last time MPATHG showed, i used the dvr. i share some of the better moments with my children. the boy, of course, likes the black knight, the first taunting, and the bring out your dead vignettes. heh heh.

Posted by: -jack- | December 9, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, to me the two parties are far from ideal. The one thing the Dems have head and shoulders over the GOP is that they seem to be more honest about what they are all about. They usually attempt to do what they campaign on.

The GOP often does the exact opposite. They are very adept at packaging a story to get elected, and their partisans are very adept at believing it every time.

In that scenario, why would the GOP ever be honest? Why tell the truth when the false story is so effective?

Posted by: baldinho | December 9, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

baldinho - I'm a pretty skeptical guy, and even dip my toe into the waters of cynicism from time to time. But even I don't believe that either party is structured in such a way that dishonesty is a fundamental part of its nature.

I do believe that campaigning is vastly different from governing and that being the minority party in the House for most of the time since World War II has put the Republican party in more-or-less constant campaign mode for my entire life.

There are plenty of principled Republicans who believe that people should lift themselves up by their bootstraps, and therefore support (affordable and well-monitored) programs to supply people in need with boots & straps. They just don't get re-elected when the waves of populism & anti-populism thrash by. There's always someone offering (unaffordable) carriages, and someone else claiming that we can't afford to buy all of those boots, and voters who prefer one of those messages.

I don't think the failure is really a lack of honesty on any party's part. It's built into the nature of political campaigning because lots of voters love to believe that somewhere out there is a free lunch.

[As an aside, this (IMHO) is why Sarah Palin seems unlikely ever to be a successful politician. She appears to love (and be good at) campaigning. Dealing with the mundane and annoying crap that comes with governing doesn't seem to be so interesting to her. Clinton loved that crap, he just needed a nun with a ruler to rap his knuckles several times a day.]

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

The Republican party realized several years ago that lying is the new truth. "We say it, therefore it's true" is their mantra.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! Neck deep in robotics tournament prep so just skipping around rather than thoroughly back boodling. Will come up for air Sunday morning.

I see letting the perfect be the enemy of the good has already been mentioned.

Kguy-don't believe that taxes will go up for singles making less than 20k and marrieds 40k. Long discussion of that on MPR today and it was thoroughly refuted. I'd be surprised if Politifact doesn't do a review on the truth-o-meter.

Went to flight school with a Unitarian minister from the MN National Guard. Never did "get" the denomination, but he was a nice guy. So nice he could be mistaken for Mormon.

Hugs to all what need 'em. Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

it's interesting that members of the GOP are looking for ways to cop earmark money for their districts, despite their collective desire to ban the practice:

http://topicfire.com/Anti-Earmark-Republicans-Looking-For-Ways-Around-Earmark-Ban-16278621.html

moreover, both Sen. DeMint and Rep J. Clyburn both share responsibility for stalling 143M in stimulus money that could save 2,600 teaching jobs in SC. According to some reports, Rep. Clyburn left language out of three iterations of the funding bill that needs to be passed, in order that it wouldn't get hung up in the voting/approval process. i guess he figured someone might amend the bill, letting him off the hook. Sen. DeMint vowed to and has had a hand in blocking key bits of funding legislation so that the tax cut issue can be settled, and on the basis that further spending increases the national debt. The Senate dealt a death blow to a bill that would provide funding for extended health care for workers in the NYC/NJ metro area exposed to toxins during the clean up at the former WTC site. The GOP campaigned, in part, on creating new jobs. I guess that one is out the window along with a sense of simply doing the right thing to take care of the WTC crews that may or may not be able to handle the costs of long term health care.

Posted by: -jack- | December 9, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZyJF4acJeQ

Posted by: -jack- | December 9, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

slyness and dmd3, I'm impressed.

Attempts to set fire to the National Christmas Tree were thwarted.

The Chinese government's reaction to Liu Xiaobo's Nobel peace prize makes me wonder, just a bit, whether it might be prudent for newspapers to have his obituary ready.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 10, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcrQ7_ENiTE

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

I wish I had been there:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AlphabetPhotography

Early start for the day, will see dawn at about seven am.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 10, 2010 3:47 AM | Report abuse

VL, it is barely 5:00-ish! You should be resting darlin

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

And so to bed. but i'll lay out espresso and fresh oranges and croissants with unsalted butter and honey. And, just for VL and MsJS, some home-made Saville marmalade.

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Great links Yoki and VL, a nice way to start the day.

VL, that video was shot in a town that does not come to mind when you think of the arts, at least not top of a list, adds to the joy of the video.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 10, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, the Sun's making a fiery entrance through the clouds this fine TFSMIF, so that's a good thing.

NukeSpouse went to the DMV yesterday to take care of an administrative detail, not knowing she'd have to have her picture taken. She happened to wear a sweater that matched the background color almost exactly, so now she has a floating head for a license photo. :-)

And in the "Ya Gotta Be Kidding Me" Dept., here's WaPo's latest misstep into the online world -- "editing" someone's Facebook posts into an "article."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/facebook-story-mothers-joy-familys-sorrow.html

Feh.

Feh, I say!

*grumbling-off-to-find-caffeine-fun-and-adventure-prior-to-jetting-off-for-a-few-days-with-the-NukeIn-Laws Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I found the annotated Facebook story very clever and touching in a "there are a million stories" kinda way.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the story's fine, yello, I'm "feh"-ing at the completely inane "turn FB posts into a 'news' piece" idea. Just another cheap way to generate faux content and draw eyeballs. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, have fun!

Hope you find a cup of something satisfying.

Well, well, well, it looks like the nation has had quite enough of the Koch brothers managed to write/email/call their Congresspeople and voiced unorganized, but loud displeasure with the President's agreement with the Republicans.

May I suggest that the formal press has painted this as an agreement between the two parties, but, while you could make an argument that some people really do believe after two separate experiences with trickle-down through favorable tax code for the ultra-wealthy will work, this really isn't an agreement between two fairly equal populations of Americans, but between the President of most of the people and the representatives of a very small contingent of the ultra-wealthy (wielding their power and influence).

I think that it is odd, after 2 or 3 years of a small minority of Senators holding the country hostage for their cause... the wealthy, that we somehow are wrong for returning the favor. There were many folks suggesting, and a bit here, that it is the Democratic Congress' responsibility to cave. They have been caving for 3 years.

If you are going to hold the country hostage for three years, then the only way to make someone stop is to say no. You have to say, if you want to break it, then go ahead. They will break it and then they will have to pay the consequences again.

The point is, that we are going to go through hard times one way or another. Many of us (most of us) are sick of this (taking care of the richest 1 or 2 percent or we won't consider anything else). The sooner we let the Republicans break the country for the sake of their patrons-- the rich--then the sooner we can get it back.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

You know what, the Repubs are loving every minute of this uprising by House Dems. They have managed to take the mantle of blame if the tax cuts expire by being the party of NO and draping it lovingly on the other side. Now, if the deal falls apart and taxes jump after Jan. 1, they can trumpet how they were willing to "compromise" and the Dems screwed everybody. Yes, I know it is not a real good deal, but compromise means having to get half or 3/4 of a loaf, or get coal in your stocking instead.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 10, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

This is hilarious. Saudi newspapers think Andy Borowitz report is real...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/saudi-media-fall-for-boro_b_794876.html

But is this really funny in the context that so many Americans think what Fox News reports is real?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

ebnut, that's not the take, here. Believe me, people are trying to spin it that way, but the take is completely the opposite.
IMHO. In an odd way, Obama made it easy for so many people to contact Congress over the "deal."

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Mr. T rose early and went to the DMV for the dreaded license renewal. Long lines in Charlotte; he was the only customer at the office in the high country. In and out, yay! Then we went to breakfast so now I'm stuffed (veggie omelet with cheese, mixed fruit, biscuit, yuuum).

Cassandra, I'm still missing you. What can we do to get that computer fixed or replaced?

DaveotC, no need to be impressed. I just read too much royal gossip for my own good.

Mr. T has the dining table in the middle of the living room to wrap his Christmas gifts. He's about half done. I need to get started on my part of the Christmas cards.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Posted by: slyness | December 10, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse


Rotating Knives

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2PyeXRwhCE

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

slyness, have you picked out an appropriate "Season's Greetings from the Bunker" card yet? If so, fill out a requisition form and put it on my desk. If you haven't found one yet, I'm thinking maybe a nice nighttime winter scene, a humble cottage on the edge of the forest by a stream, with snow hanging from the evergreens and maybe a lot of nice warm light streaming from the cottage windows, kind of in the style of...oh, I don't know. You'll think of somebody, I'm sure.

Also, are we all stocked up for the Bunker Hospitality Suite? Plenty of pfeffernusse and eggnog? I got the big punch bowl out along with the ladle, but I think we may need some more plastic cups. I put the artificial tree up and but didn't do any decorating yet. Do we want to go with a monochromatic color scheme this year (all gold, all silver, or all white?) or just mix it up? Also, what color tinsel? I think you better decide quickly, otherwise CqP, Maggie, and some of the yarn ladies will get in there and we'll have a Christmas tree that looks like the world's largest tartan potholder (like they did three years ago when I was out-of-town in Mexico; boy, I'll never do that again).

I'd suggest getting some spray snow so we could decorate the windows, only the bunker doesn't have windows, so we're SOL there. But maybe we could go to Lowe's and get some of those wire-sculpture-type reindeer and put them out on the lawn by the bunker entrance? We had such a horrible experience with that giant inflatable Santa Claus that one year I am reluctant to try it again. Who'd have thought people would do THAT to Sanata Claus?

Don't forget the mistletoe; I'm thinking three bushels ought to be enough.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

And if the mistletoe holds up after the holidays, we can use it to camo the bunker's entrance a little better...

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I've got a clown nose and a santa hat for the deer head on the wall. Think it's okay to use these old newspapers for a paper chain, or should I use Dan Brown books? It's snowing hard here, so DC's going to be stuck in the house this afternoon, might as well put her to work.

Also, if there's any money left in the coffee can on top of the fridge, some mulled wine would be nice.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

TBG's got a line on some good Glühwein, IIRC... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

New bunker defense system, mistletoe projectiles, via wiki

In the 13th century Prose Edda, due to the scheming of Loki, the god Baldr is killed by his brother, the blind god Höðr, by way of a mistletoe projectile, despite the attempts of Baldr's mother, the goddess Frigg, to have all living things and inanimate objects swear an oath not to hurt Baldr after Baldr had troubling dreams of his death. Frigg was unable to get an oath from mistletoe, because "it seemed too young" to demand an oath from.[10] In the Gesta Danorum version of the story, Baldr and Höðr are rival suitors, and Höðr kills Baldr with a sword named Mistilteinn (Old Norse "mistletoe"). In addition, a sword by the same name appears in various other Norse legends"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe

Posted by: dmd3 | December 10, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Mudge and slyness -- is the piano tuned? Any honey for Mudge's throat, so when he belts out the Hannukah carols, the tone will be a bit, um, sweeter this year? (Honestly, Mudgekins, it took me awhile to get that sound outta my head, but luv you anyway)

A good friend of mine (in her "Betty Home-eckie" phase two husbands ago) made the "Three Wise Men" out of empty bleach bottles. I generally call them the "Three Wise Guys" and get away with it. It's a standing funny story between us at this time of year.

Was out very early this morning, and it's coooolllllddddd out (brrrr), but I ain't complainin' -- I prefer colder to hotter anyway. So, um, *why* am I living where summer is hotter than a furnace? I ask myself that every *expletive* summer.

I was able to watch the entire Nobel Prize festivities last year off Swedish television, but not this year, man! Swedish television, for some reason, knows my computer is not in Sweden, and it is blocking all viewing from outside the country.

Guess I'll get back to work then. . . . .

*sigh*

Posted by: ftb3 | December 10, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Mulled wine would be great in the punch bowl. My recommendation would be to cut up the Dan Brown books. His new one is a particular stinker, according to the reviews. It's about a real wack-job conspiracy that starts when this crazed librarian-looking small-town mayor in the town of Iciclefart, Alaska, wants to run for president, although her husband wants to secede from the union and join Bermuda, the Seychelles and Luxembourg in a new federation. Meanwhile this smalltown mayor, who has a camocrapper toilet seat attached to the tail of her DeHaviland Beaver (it's an airplane; get your mind out of the gutter) has a TV show and has written some truly awful books, and wants to take over the country. She's formed a group of octogenarians called the Camomile Club to organize and hold pep rallies, which her daughter, an expert on abstinence who has had three children out of wedlock, goes on Jerseylicious and wins its dance competition. The daughter runs off and has a love child with media superstar Glenn Peck, and then begins supplying illegal oxycontin and steroids to Thrush Bambaugh.

Brown claims it is based on a true story, but you know how crazy an idea that is.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'll let you decide from this list, what Christmas card you want:

http://www.google.com/images?q=kinkade+christmas&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=hU4CTaX0MMKBlAfprKXSCQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQsAQwAA&biw=1024&bih=410

Actually, you've caught me out. I was focusing on New Year's Eve, got the champagne and party hats, I haven't done anything much to decorate the bunker for Christmas. I'll get on it right away.

:-)

Posted by: slyness | December 10, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

November 2, 2010, heralded the release of Dan Brown's latest: Special Illustrated Edition of The Lost Symbol. I highly recommend that y'all rush to your local bookstores and pick up a copy so that you can go to it with scissors and glue and cut it up for making your decorative paper chains.

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Symbol-Special-Illustrated-Novel/dp/0385533829/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291995859&sr=1-5

As you may recall, this latest Brown blockbuster features chases through Washington, D.C.'s chambers, tunnels, temples and (yes) bunkers. By creating chains of these pages with their oversized glossy illustrations--including a several fine illustrations with George Washington, you can create a tree in your own likenesses and images--surely a pleasing prospect to all the bunker dwellers. So homey.

Or better yet, since the dollar has so little value these days, why not just create paper chains out of green-and-white dollar bills? You could even paint George's face--or the all-seeing eye on the top of the pyramid--in an array of brightly colored neon hues. Might be cheaper than helping out poor Dan Brown by buying his Special Illustrated Edition of The Lost Symbol.

If you get bored staring at familiar local landmarks--or the reproductions of walls of subterranean D.C. dwellings--on the paper chains you've pasted together, you could always try to unravel the Krytos code outside Langley's CIA building, which figures prominently in The Lost Symbol. Gotta beat those inexpensive kiddie jigsaw puzzles, hands-down.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/science/07secret.html

And for those who bore easily in the bunker, you could always read all the WikiLeaks documents and reporting you can get your electronic eyes, ears, and fingers on...

Posted by: laloomis | December 10, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I vote for the one with the glowy windows and the evergreen trees.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the specifics, Yello!

Posted by: slyness | December 10, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dan Brown lost me with a book about a code the NSA couldn't break. OMG! What I knew was, though, that a random number or string of random text, etc., ALSO can't be broken by the NSA. I just don't think he should write about stuff he's a bonehead about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcrAElZgx6A
A nice Klezmer Christmas Carol

Called the rental office. My furnace quit working. The young lady told me she'd send the plumber right over. Oy. "Needs the pilot light lit, probably." she says. I told her it has no pilot light. (It auto-ignites with the sparker thing.) I don't think she believed me.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

If necessity is the mother of invention, surely boredom is the dad. Some of the best times in the bunker started because someone was bored. Remember Mudge's soft shoe routine that turned into a sort of conga line? Or SciTim's lesson on rocket propulsion? (Why there's a deer head on the wall...it covers a big ole hole.) Or the time we decided to make Rice Krispie treats but only had Cheerios? (We try to be heart healthy in the bunker.) Boredom in the bunker is one my favorite times because it's when the crazy fun starts.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

That one may be sold out, yello.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

LiT, please don't bring up the time we decided to moon bc, just to see what the metaphorical effects might be.

How many times DID we have to vacuum the love seat after that, anyway?

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I for one will never forget confetti-and-molasses night.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It was actually snowing here for a few minutes... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of boredom, I've found a real problem with refuting sky-is-falling rhetoric about proposed tax code changes:

Even though the information is widely available, and the math is straightforward, any attempt to explicate the results of any given tax rate change is almost instantly met with glazed eyes. It's easy to calculate & explain the effects on three typical taxpayers (single person, single head of household with one kid, married filing jointly with two kids) but nearly impossible to get most folks to listen to the explanation.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I can't even remember why we needed it, but I do remember (parts of) the night the kitchen aid was used to mix up a couple cups of plaster of paris.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Mudge....sshhhh. We're trying to pass them off as textured walls. You know, sort of like the designer coat rack.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

FYI for you locals, yesterday and today workers were decorating Nationals Park (stadium) with giant Christmas tree balls that are each about 7 feet in diameter and reflective/silver -- but with red baseball seams on them. Really cool.

Doesn't seem to be anything up on the Web yet, but maybe when they're done. Worth a drive-by.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As long as you have no need to re-use the same cipher, and aren't doing huge message volumes, and can securely place the key in the hands of the recipient, unbreakable codes are a piece of cake to create.

Alas, all three of those factors are often in play.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I only stumble in here occasionally but can I just take my hat off to all of you? I learn more here than I do elsewhere, with the fact-checking and bits of history thrown here and there. Having said that, much thanks to JA for putting this kit up. I have been frustrated with Obama but I think it's more of my coming down to earth after the lows of the Bush years to the highs of Obama's historic election where we hoped much change would happen. Much did happen but not ideally so. But I'll take it.. it's what compromise is all about and for once, it's highly refreshing to have a intentionally deliberative leader.

Posted by: workingmom2 | December 10, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Propulsion can be fun, I assure you.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It is snowing here, Scotty! Overnight and continuing. Now there is a lovely clean 3 cm blanket over the old snow. Around City Hall all the trees are dressed in blue and white lights; very pretty in the new snow.

Oh, and there is this. http://www.skibig3.com/banff-lake-louise/3-banff-lake-louise-ski-resorts/banff-lake-louise-snow-weather-reports?gclid=CKCct_ia4qUCFQN7gwodIjyt2g

Posted by: Yoki | December 10, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi workingmom2!! *Grover waves* :-)

Yoki, yer as cruel as ever, but since I've got my own snow for the moment, I'll let it pass. THIS time. ;-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Welcome workingmom. Your name strikes me as redundant, but no worries...it fits in this environment just fine. BTW, see the shop steward re: paperwork, and once that's done he'll set a date/time for your induction ceremony. Don't worry, it's not all that bad......

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Educate yourself for the coming years of hardship-

http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-12-09-hunting-cooking-and-eating-squirrel-video

I love the quote from Thoreau- "The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest."

Posted by: kguy1 | December 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Snow flurry has ceased in mid-Monty County. Sun seems to trying to make an appearance. Still da*n cold, though. Hope it does make it into the 40's this weekend. I am way overdue to change out the oil in the emergency generator. Thinking I may well need that thing before this winter is over.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Just in case anyone's having a tough time figuring out what to get me this year:

http://www.bing.com/shopping/bacon-gift-ideas/r/137?FORM=MSNHED&crea=hpbacon>1=37003

No explosions, unfortunately.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

All that snow that was announced never materialyzed but the very cold nights (-18C/0F last night) allowed the ski centers to make a lot of the fake stuff. Conditions are reportedly getting "decent". But the cold air keeps the pollution at street level and make it difficult for the asthma sufferers... the streets smell of diesel exhaust.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

workingmom2, I totally agree with you. I think I was a little more prepared for the inevitability of friction and half-measures in the reality of governance. I think part of the reason that there has been such disappointment with Obama after the Imperial Presidency of Bush is that people became accustomed to the President acting as an autocrat. One of Obama's more important tasks is to restore the notion of the legislature as a serious branch of government with serious responsibilities that should not be bypassed. That means they have to be given the opportunity to be stupid in the public eye and they have to be relied upon to actually craft legislation and strike compromises of their own (such as with health-care reform). I think he has also been willing to settle for less-than-ideal solutions that would more fully satisfy the left's agenda is because he is trying to build something lasting and permanent. If it were too far left, then only a slight shift in political affiliation could evaporate the coalition necessary to keep the advances that have been made. Better (I think) to build a strong foundation and then add to it as the political tides allow.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

slyness, would you add some bacon air fresheners to your shopping list? I just remembered I left a certain someone off my Christmas list.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

...and a little hint for my Christmas present (you could, yanno, take up a collection): http://www.charterworld.com/index.html?sub=yacht-charter&charter=sailing-yacht-maltese-falcon-1096

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

...although I know things are tight, so this would also do: http://www.millionairesconcierge.com/pirate-ship-yacht-charter.htm

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

But not this one (I already have two): http://www.playmorships.com/wooden-pirate-ship-playhouse.php

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Got it, Mudge!

Lessee, a case of Prosecco for Yoki, real Cheddar for me (gotta have it to make cheese straws, yanno), Greek dressing and herbs for TBG, baby stuff for Cassandra's new grandson...what am I missing?

Posted by: slyness | December 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

A collection of what Mudge? Automatic firepower?

Posted by: LostInThought | December 10, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

HA HA!

After the Republican Senate caucus has managed to administratively filibuster hundreds of bills each year, NOW, we have a real filibuster....

Senator Bernie Sanders is going off with the help of Sherrod Brown.

Hey, he sounds a lot like russianthistle (or is probably the other way around)

Senator Sanders is standing up and speaking... and speaking and speaking. Watch on CSPAN2, if you would like.

Just now talking about the rate of childhood party. 20% in the USA.

The wealthiest 400 richest Americans average make about $350 million per year. They pay an affective tax rate of 16.6%.

Their incomes all doubled their income in the 8 years of the Bush administration.

During that same time, those 400 families increased their family wealth by 1.2 trillion dollars.

This is at the same time that the Republicans filibustered a $250 check during the stimulus package to those on Social Security who already have not gotten a COLA for 2 straight years.

This is amazing.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping that's the rate of child poverty.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 10, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

If they are out of those then get the one with the evergreens and the glowy lights.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Pictures of the Year:

http://www.life.com/image/ugc1149451/in-gallery/52491/2010-pictures-of-the-year

hat-tip to PostBlog or BlogPost or whatever it is.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/dec/06/finalists-lie-year/

Ooooh, so very hard to choose just one. My heart says "Bachmann" but my head says "Scott".

Posted by: kguy1 | December 10, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes kguy. Very sad. We are about 10% higher than any other industrial nation

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

No matter how bad things get, always remember that there is someone somewhere who is worse off, except perhaps for this guy-

http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTXV2BU#a=22

Posted by: kguy1 | December 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, don't moon me you guys.

You wouldn't like me when I'm moony.

My vote for the card is the Kincade that depicts some guy writing "Piece on Earth" (ahem) in the snow using 'borrowed' Yuengling (the Official Beer of the BPH). It's a beautiful scene, with stars in the sky, moonlight glinting off the emplacements and communciations antennae, a half-dozen Boodlers trying to ride a single truck innertube down a hill, steam rising from the fresh inscription in the snow as the writer dots the final 'i'...

And I'm fine with making the paper chains, but I thought we were going to save the Brown books just in case we ran out of toilet paper.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 10, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Install GOP talking points cap.

Well, all those children wouldn't be in poverty if there weren't all that onerous regulation that prevented them from getting a job! Those children sit around all day and want stuff given to them... for free! Sorry, but in "real America" that is not how it works.

Removing GOP talking points cap.

Ahh. I feel much better.

Posted by: baldinho | December 10, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

kguy, if your heart says "Bachmann" please see a cardiologist, STAT.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 10, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

bc, being Canadian I must ask this, the message in the snow, is it being written by pouring out the beer or after the beer is consumed, cause the latter is certainly not unheard of up here.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

dmd, no one would waste perfectly good Yuengling *before* it was digested.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

dmd,
The latter. And penmanship counts. A true master can get all the way through "The quick brown fox..." without a refill.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Toward the end of his life the Giant Black Lab couldn't stand on three legs so he was doing his business walking, writing his name "WMUWWMMUWMl" in the snow.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 10, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Landrieu spoke and now Sanders has been going for another hour. Sanders is dropping tons of statistics. If you are a wonk, it might be interesting.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, those ships are nice, but for some reason I've always pictured you in a Viking longboat.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 10, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

weed, a lot of Ronco-Americans might object to you making fun of their speech impediments.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

...which reminds me of a joke whose punchline is "But it's in your wife's handwriting."

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Nah. Those things were open, drafty, wet, too dang small, and you had to row yer butt off all damn day long. Oh, sure, there was a bit of thrill way back when I was young, and pillage had its many attractions. But you burn and sack one small town, you've pretty much burned and sacked them all. It gets old, yanno?

Anyway, I went from that to a couple hundred years of Wooden Ships and Iron Men and that wasn't a whole lot better except that it didn't rain on us when we were off-watch. And we no longer hadda row all the time. The trade-off was cannons. Oh, indeed, I had many a night's sleep lost to some fool shooting either at us, or us shooting at them.

Nowadays I much prefer a ship like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tChJ2fBKw6w

(If you look carefully, I'm the guy in the swimming pool lashed to the diving board and drinking a Hendricks gin-and-tonic.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 10, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I've got the C-Span2 feed running in the background. I love it when Bernie goes on a roll. Bless Vermont for sending an actual (and generally fairly reasonable) Socialist to Congress.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 10, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Now see, if this woman had known how to cook a squirrel things would have been a lot different-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/10/squirrel-toilet-911_n_795069.html

Posted by: kguy1 | December 10, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, we finally had a filibuster. Maybe Bunning did one, but this is funny. Bob, Bernie Sanders is America's Senator, in my book.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 10, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yep, my handle is rather redundant. I'm trying to get it changed to 'briebecca' the handle I normally use. Thanks for the welcome, guys. I live in Denver but grew up in DC area. It was almost 60 degrees here today and so far we're on record pace to have the driest December ever. Can't complain!

Posted by: workingmom2 | December 10, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Isn't kind of a reverse filibuster since Sanders caucuses with the Democrats, who still had a majority in the Senate? Not that it shows.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

If you like your german philosophy in cartoons...

Introducing: The Nietzsche Family Circus.

http://www.losanjealous.com/nfc/

Kind of funny.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It looks like various legislators and groups are working hard to add their personal "sweeteners" to the tax cut deal.

If I was a legislator looking to extort stuff for my vote, I'd hold out for a really big pastrami sandwich. Extra mustard. Large Dr. Pepper to wash it down.

I'd also make sure that the next time I would not ask for my sweetener after not eating all afternoon.

Posted by: baldinho | December 10, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

baldhino... your 5:34 was a read-out-loud post. The entire family thanks you.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 10, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, y'all.

Had a lovely grilled salmon lunch with friends today. Think I'm going to have a rare roast beef wrap and a salad while tracking the Bernie Sanders Show on C-Span.

I'll try and catch up in the morning. Have a lovely evening, everyone.

Posted by: MsJS | December 10, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love independent Bernie Sanders. Got Burlington (Vermont) written all over a big part of his life's story. Yes, he's still talking! See C-Span. Sanders was quite riled about the compromise when he appeared on Chris Matthews' show earlier this week. Some of Sanders' key votes in the past are in the link below.

http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=613b6202-350c-49aa-afaf-d5dfd9e10cbf

I see that the Big Dog spoke on Obambi's behalf this afternoon.

Posted by: laloomis | December 10, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Florida's high speed rail project got an additional dollop of federal money yesterday, thanks to cancellation of projects in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Gov.-elect Rick Scott might still pull the plug to prove his tea party credentials, but it sounds like the extremely important Congressman John Mica of the Orlando area is wanting to do the project. Lately, he'd been talking of scaling it down to a sort of theme park ride from Orlando Airport to the Convention Center and Disney. (news from the Ledger newspaper, Lakeland)

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 10, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Vermont is very small. I went to high school there, and managed to meet in person Bernie Sanders AND Howard Dean. I have no problem with Mr. Sanders. I imagine that were I still in Vermont, I'd be voting for him.

He is someone you know what you are going to get from. He won't embarrass you. If you are a small government person, he is not your cup of tea. He is perfect for Vermont.

Dean wasn't too bad, either. He was Lt. Governor Dean when I met him.

Posted by: baldinho | December 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Well... Vermont may seem small, but whenever Rhode Island comes up in conversation, the Green Mountaineers express envy that they don't have a thriving metropolis like Providence. Then they walk away snickering, chuckling, or chortling. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure it's significant.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 10, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

workingmom2, welcome!

Hey, kids, in case you missed it, I recommend Wednesday's Colbert Report

http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/wed-december-8-2010-steve-martin

I have tried to watch Colbert many times before but don't think I've ever gotten through an entire show. This one is special.

Posted by: kbertocci | December 10, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

A while back, there was "A Course in Miracles". At Walmart, I just noticed "A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever".

I'm not about to suggest that some college student should make a term paper out of comparing the two.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 10, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to believe that Marianne Williamson means well. I'd be a little more comfortable if she wasn't such an enthusiastic self-seller, but that's just a matter of style preferences.

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

Out of consideration for the long-time regulars here who have heard it many times before, I will be very brief when I point out that:

"Love is Letting Go of Fear" (Jampolsky) is a little introduction to several of the core lessons of "A Course in Miracles". Thumbnail psychology, dated anecdotes, but potentially useful tools.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 10, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

kb,
That was a particularly good episode of Colbert. Near the end they showed a self-portrait of sorts by Andre Seranno. I've actually seen pieces from that series.

I was doing a project at the short-lived Baltimore Museum of Contemporary Art where the curator was very proud to get a triptych to display for the grand opening. If only I could do work like that.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Marianne Williamson repeatedly demonstrates that she can't or won't differentiate between "jive", "jibe", and "gibe".

Doesn't make her a bad person, but it does make her a sloppy wordsmith.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 10, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You fans of military history and military aviation in particular (and you know who you are) are welcome to check out my photos from the Marine Corps Museum I took last weekend.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/sets/72157625447413593/

It was far larger and more comprehensive than I had expected. Their signature collection piece are the two flags that flew over Mount Suribachi. They only display one at a time. Right now they have on display the first one and not the one in the famous Joe Rosenthal photo.

They don't allow photography of them, but they had a volunteer willing to tell the entire story. It was touching to hear it told by someone so strongly moved by the event.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure my gibes mean nothing to her, and she'd consider them to be meaningless jive, 'cuz our views just don't jibe.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 10, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Jump Jive an' Wail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHWcN5YxuYc

Posted by: yellojkt | December 10, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

What little familiarity I have with the "Course in Miracles" comes from Richard Danielpour's Symphony No. 3, “Journey Without Distance” with chorus and soprano, from 1990.

I was just checking Orlando International Airport's detailed plans for combining trains and planes at their next terminal. Looks like they've decided that becoming Florida's passenger rail hub is at least as important as attracting more air traffic.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

*not-much-to-say-whilst-finishing-packing-for-a-quick-trip-and-have-a-great-weekend-all Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 11, 2010 5:37 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if this cartoonist has been reading the boodle.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/cartoon/editorial-cartoons-december-2010/article1819732/

Posted by: dmd3 | December 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Here in New Hampshire
Mitt, Rick and Newt
have started to gorge
on the low hanging fruit

Posted by: baldinho | December 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm hitting the road as well. It's up to see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and do the NYC edition of Eat Where Obama Ate. I was supposed to see Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, but it's a long story.

Updates as they happen (particularly for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Foursquare (and if you are on Twitter or 4Sq (or Tumblr or Facebook)and I'm not following you, let me know).

Posted by: yellojkt | December 11, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

For a change of pace I have apple fritters and bear claws with my coffee and OJ.

I'm one of those who happen to like "A Course In Miracles." Got a copy on my desk in fact.

TWC is due for a storm later today. Very windy and about 5"-6" of snow expected. I expect to see more snowmen around the gazebo before the weekend's over.

Everyone stay warm. For those traveling, be safe as well.

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, I haven't had *DA BEARS* bear claws in ages. And the apple fritters are making my tummy growl (like bears).

I have finished with my morning errands, and just in time, too, as the money is running out before long. Too bad I forgot to get more sweet potatoes, though. Will get them next week (*writing note to self not to forget to by them next week*).

It's still nippy out, but not as bad as earlier this week. I'm definitely staying in tomorrow, as the weather is gonna be crummy. If I watch football (or what passes for it these days (no pun intended)), I shall do so indoors, thankyouverymuch.

Cya later.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I seem to be having a technologically challenging day. I can't access my home phone's voicemail as Verizon seems to have changed something in their system and their website is no help. It appears I have erased all the songs on my iPod and my Facebook page is missing the area in which to write comments. Who did I p!ss off?

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Now is expected here later tomorrow, since we don't have any some for Christmas would be nice.

Driving around getting ready for a party this afternoon, this song came on, brought back nostalgic memories, thank you CBC R2

Joni Mitchell, Both Side Now, it suits the mild grey day we have

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9j_j-cUwKc

Posted by: dmd3 | December 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC Snow!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 11, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

'Afternoon, Boodle.

PJ, get your picks in.

This morning in the scratch-and-dent aisle at Lowe's they had a stainless steel-front over-stove microwave oven with some scuff marks on one of the trim panels. It was marked down -- to $50. My wife asked, "What do you think?" I said, at the price we can't afford NOT to buy it. (We're gradually replacing all our kitchen appliciances, from white to stainless, in eventual anticipation of selling. Apparently the trend is all stainless nowadays, if you want to sell.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 11, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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

Good Afternoon, friends! It is so good to talk to all of you again. I have missed you terribly and thankful this opportunity presented itself.

I am at my daughter's apartment right now to see the baby. Just to look from afar because I have pneumonia & bronchitis. Just a tad weak, but feeling much better.

Slyness, thanks for everything. I'm going to get the computer fixed, just haven't felt like doing much, but thanks for the offer. Every Christmas something breaks or goes wrong, and you folks bail me out, and God bless you for your kindness to me and my family, but I will not take advantage of your kindness that way. That's not being a good friend. I'm taking my meds and slowly getting better, and I thank God. I thank all of you for your prayers and your friendships.

JA, your most excellent kit! I still like President Obama. It's hard being an adult, especially acting like one! President Obama can express himself quite well, and posting his answer to that question was well done, JA.

Bob S' you and the free lunch, but I read your whole comment.

Thanks again for the wonderful book and for the Xmas cards to those that took the time and thought to do that. And thanks to all for just being the best friends a person can have.

The baby is doing fine as is the mother. His name is Dywaun Marquee Curtis, the Curtis is my son's name. I saw him enter this world, and he is beautiful. Excuse me, but I'm a tad bias! God is good.

I love you all!

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if you don't want to get replacement panels or some peel-and-stick stainless steel sheets, you might want to consider using BarKeepers Friend (I'd start with the liquid, as the powder is pretty abrasive), working with the grain and rinsing well and often. Corning Revere also makes a product, but I've not tried it.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 11, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra! So good to hear from you. I hope you are well before Christmas and I'm glad to hear everything is well with Dywaun.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra so glad the little one and mom are doing great, congratulations, but PLEASE take care of yourself.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 11, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

And Cassandra tell that little one, we have a special connection as each of us have a name that is phonetically the same - at least with my southern ontario accent it is.

Posted by: dmd3 | December 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra!!!!

So glad to hear from you! And I'm so thrilled that the baby and his mom are doing fine. But I am going to fax you some hi-protein and hug-filled chicken soup (it can't hurt) to take care of your health woes. I just may add a jolt or two of hot sauce to keep your airways open.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 11, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Borowitz has outdone himself today.

December 11, 2010

Clinton Refuses to Leave White House

Installs Self in Oval Office

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – It seemed like a good idea at the time.

But twenty-four hours after former President Bill Clinton appeared at the White House to endorse President Obama's tax plan, Mr. Obama is “still looking for the right way to ask him to leave,” an aide confirmed today.

Mr. Obama had assumed that once the former President wrapped things up with reporters yesterday, he would say his goodbyes and depart in a waiting car, “but that kind of didn’t happen,” the aide said.

“Clinton kind of went, ‘Do you have a computer I can use? I just want to check my email,’ and then kind of made himself at home in the Oval Office,” he said. “The President was being polite and all, but you could tell he was kind of pissed.”

After spending the better part of two hours surfing the Internet and watching YouTube videos, the former President announced, “Am I the only one around here who’s hungry? Let’s send [Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs on a Pizza Hut run.”

The aide said that Mr. Obama decided to play “a waiting game” with Mr. Clinton, explaining, “Even the Salahis left eventually.”

But after spending the night “crashing in the Lincoln Bedroom,” the former President was back in the Oval Office, chatting away on the phone.

"He could be there for awhile," the aide said. "He's talking to Bernie Sanders."

UPDATE: Last Tuesday’s Borowitz Report about Obama announcing that he is a Muslim to please Republicans was taken seriously by the official Saudi media. Read about this hilarious international incident here.

Posted by: rickoshea11 | December 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

rickoshea, I just finished reading that - very funny. Dan Balz seems to have taken it seriously.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121007172.html?hpid=topnews

Cassandra, good to hear from you. I got your note - glad you like the book. Hope you feel better soon.

Posted by: seasea1 | December 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - I appreciate that you read my whole comment. I hope it was apparent to you that the folks who most annoy me with their "free lunch" attitude are the folks with money who act offended by the idea that they'll have to pay for things.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra!! So good to hear from you and with news about the baby too. Both of you get virtual hugs from me. I add my voice to others here who want you to get better quickly so you can hold that little one and also so you can enjoy Christmas. I will fax you some Swedish bread as soon as it comes out of the oven and cools a bit. The smell of cardamom will be a comforting one.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 11, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, my kitchen has a spectacular, functional German sink that was affordable because of a couple of dents, clearly visible. I thought of taking it to a body shop, but figured there was something to be said for having some character.

No buyer is likely to notice your bargain microwave's problems.

As for stainless, I wonder whether house buyers are getting tired of it. Hard to keep clean. Black is sleek. Something like that.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, DotC, in hoping that the fad for stainless ends as more and more people discover what a PITA it is, with fingerprints and water stains, etc. Faintly textured black is ideal. But, as 'mudge says, these days to sell a house stainless is critical.

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm not keen on industrial gray. Makes me feel like I'm living in a restaurant's kitchen rather than in a home.

White is also kind of... shrug. Get drunk and stagger into your kitchen in the dark, and it's the dancing-ground of the white elephants.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Now this is what I'd like to see for a diet aid:

A tasteful grassy camoflague kitchen done in warm yellow, oranges, and greens-- complete with dead-falls and jungle noises whenever you open anything that could contain food.

Also, the random shrieking jungle creature swooping at your head if you check the fridge too often without turning on the stove.

Not that would sell, but you never do know...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I mean, if it has a BBQ grill with strong vent where the kitchen table should be...

I see a strong market...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

You know what they say -- People who live in glass houses always have easy clean-ups.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, here's a bear for Dywaun.

..........................................................................
…………………………………………………….
……………………………##…………….....#……
………….........^^^^^^^..####^^^^^^^^…###........
……………^^^^^^^^^^^####^^^^^^^^#####........
…………^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^##(((((-------)))))))…….
………..^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^(((((●--.--●))))))……
………^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^(((((((---_---)))))))……
……..^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^(((((--o_o-)))))^…….
…….^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^((((((/__ \))))^^…….
…….^^^^^^^^^^^^^^xxxx^^^^^(((((()))))^^^^……
…….x^^^^^^^^^^^^xxxxxx^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^……
…….xxx^^^^^^^^^xxxxxxx^^^^^^^^^xxxxxxx……
……xxxxx^^^^^^xxxxxxxxx^^^^^^^xxxxxxxx……
…....xxxxxx^^^^xxxxxxxxxx……..xxxxxxxxxx….
…..xxxxxxxx^^^xxxxxxxxx………xxxxxxxxxx……
…..xxxxxxx.^^^xxxxxxxxx……….xxxxxxxxxx……
…..xxxxxx…^^^xxxxxxxx…………xxxxxxxxx……
…..xxxxxx..^^^^xxxxxxxx………….xxxxxxxx……
…..xxxxxxx.^^^.xxxxxxxx…………..xxxxxxxx….
………………….xxxxxxx……………xxxxxxx……
………………….xxxxxxx…………….xxxxxxx……
………………………………………………………

Posted by: MsJS | December 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the kind comments, hope to talk with you again soon. I'm going in before it gets dark, a little tired, have a great rest of the weekend.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 11, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on the grandchild, Cassandra.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I realized that my left shoulder locked up and began causing me pain about 4 weeks ago, the week after I had quit taking the fish oil capsules (I had run out and not replaced the supply.) Wonder if it's coincidence? About the same time, old dog, who took her two capsules every day along with me, began itching furiously and scratching too much. Coincidence?

Fish oil: the new opium. They'll hook ya.

What the heck, dog and I are back on the good stuff now. Fish oil.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 11, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Finally, a dessert with bacon in it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/dining/15mini.html?hpw

What they say about the best laid plans. I shopped for a food donation to the local food bank with the idea to drop it on my way back; the place has just closed after the noon hour community meal. It's a Mulligan for Monday.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 11, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Given the 3:38 p.m. post, I guess some missed the news about MIT's Media Labs' Proverbial Wallet, with three prototypes: Bumblebee, Mother Bear and Peacock. ABC News also has a video of how these prototypes work.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/10/5624711-wallets-add-realism-to-virtual-cash

If it can be done for excess money consumption, why not excess food consumption? Of course, you have to spend money, to help you save money, as the article points out. Likewise, if there's an app to keep you from overeating, you'll pay for that, too. It begs the question of who the adult in the room is. The electronic device? Hahahahahahahah!

Guess reporting like the one by our local business columnist, in today's paper, won't do the trick--about how the truly high price of the care of diabetes may swamp health care by 2020.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/business_columnists/david_hendricks/article/Diabetes-could-swamp-health-care-873655.php

Even more sobering in today's local paper, page A6, was this article by AP reporter Tom Raum.

http://www.salon.com/wires/politics/12/10/D9K17P481_us_obama_s_reversal_analysis/index.html

Very relevant graf:

"If the Obama-GOP plan is enacted, as generally expected, the United States will become the only major industrialized economy in the world not to move toward fiscal curbs next year -- even though Congress is considering legislation that would move in the other direction. That effort involves freezing the budgets of most Cabinet departments and cutting nearly $46 billion from the president's spending requests. The House passed the measure 212-206 on Wednesday and sent it to the Senate."

Note that if you scroll to the end of Raum's reporting, some of the last words are "deficit denial," not the double d's of "Democrats defriend."

Pulled a bertooch and decided to search this blog post and responses for the words "economic," "financial," "deficit," "dollar," and "billion." Interesting to see in whose remarks they showed up.

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oddly, I'm more interested in this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/science/07brain.html?pagewanted=1&ref=science

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

So glad to read that three adults and two children from Westboro were totally overwhelmed by several hundred people supporting the Edwardses at Elizabeth Edwards funeral.

Posted by: slyness | December 11, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Breaking: Two bomb blasts rock central Stockholm (first at intersection of Drottninggatan and Olof Palmes Gata; the second at Drottninggatan and Bryggargatan--about four blocks aparrt, for those who know Sweden's capital city), holiday shoppers sent scurrying, one dead, warning received by e-mail 10 minutes before blast.

Posted by: laloomis | December 11, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - that is a wonderful article! There's a phenomenon I have often observed in myself where the way to find a solution to a complex problem is to do something completely different for a while.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Cassandra! 'tis a good thing indeed.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I do that with Wilbrodog's training-- teach a new task for maybe 5 minutes, end when he's done it right once, and then give him a brain break. I might review in 20 minutes or 4 hours later, to see if he remembers it.

If he gets stuck, I switch to tasks he can do right for the reward high, then give him a break, and return to it later. By that time he's usually ready to master the new task on the first try.

I don't believe in beating brains against a wall when a simple change of task can buy you subconscious downtime to make associations.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I really don't understand all the heat thats coming from the progressives. Obama was able to extendend benefits and a list of other REAL positive benefits for the middle class. Also he left the door open to increase taxes in 2012 (provided that the economy turns around). Most American will not care about the tax increase if they are working....especially earners making more than 250K.

http://www.crumassociates.com/propertymanagement.php

Posted by: LongBeachRealEstate | December 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, sure. Those Swedes are so darned troublesome that introducing some extra violence into their society is sure to make the world a better place.

**Sigh**

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

LongBeachRealEstate - To the extent that you are able to understand things while you're caught up in old paradigms like "progressives", it goes something like this:

People don't like change. If change is inevitable, then they like to paint it in simple terms ("good", "bad", "black', "white") and cast judgment upon it accordingly.

These "progressives" latched onto the "bad" (extending lower tax rates for folks who, in their estimation, could afford to pay higher rates) while looking past some things that they might consider "good".

See, you're smarter than you thought. It really isn't all that hard to understand. You (like I) may consider some of the reactions a bit overwrought, but pretending that "progressives" are engaged in mental gymnastics beyond your ken is unnecessary.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

But I'm just a dumb ol' Georgia boy. Maybe folks from Long Beach is thicker'n I ever imagined!

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Who knows with all that tea up there, Bob S.?

Maybe they just got an alternative state of thought.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Wait, that's Long Island Beach?

This frostbite's turning my grey cells white.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | December 11, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

:-D

I could be wrong, but I think we're talking about the "industrial harbor & waterfront near Los Angeles" Long Beach.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Either we are under attack, or the Navy is celebrating a win at the Army-Navy game.

Posted by: rickoshea11 | December 11, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a new Gator head football coach already...the heir apparent at Texas, named Muschamp. A name like that should be an opinion columnist.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Long Beach on Long Island (just east of JFK Airport) had some amazing surf during this season's two offshore hurricanes.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 11, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

That Long Beach link is somewhat amusing. While I'm willing to assume that Ramon Crum & his crewe are indeed "specialists skilled in space marketing, tenant psychology, maintenance procedures and accounting," they are a little rough around the edges when it comes to that English language thing.

Perhaps their "combination of our own handypersons and variety of independent contractors with both quality work at reasonable prices and quick turnaround" should include a copywriter and editor.

Posted by: Bob-S | December 11, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Bob. If you're just dumb ol-boy, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Posted by: Yoki | December 11, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm up in New York and there are people in Santa suits everywhere. I had no idea today was Santacon where thousands of people dress up as Santa and go drinking. If I had known, I would have dressed for the occasion. Of all the Santas I saw, Cowboy Santa was the coolest.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/5253443674/

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

*frenvious* yello. I heart New York.

Posted by: Yoki | December 12, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Why is Ikea in a rush for the east coast market in a Panama canal story?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/us/12port.html?hp

Posted by: bh72 | December 12, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Them Swedish meatballs have an expiration date.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 12, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Funny pictures yello. Thanks.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

There was an invasion of Santas here yesterday as well, an annual 5K run - with the runners all dressed in Santa suits, but being the 'burbs they all dress alike!

Posted by: dmd3 | December 12, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is splendid to hear from Cassandra. I'm glad Dywaun and his mom are doing well. Please, Cassandra, you get better quickly! I miss your Boodle presence.

Central Oklahoma is getting hip to the hyper. Friday night there was a SantaCon in Norman, and yesterday there was a Hallelujah Chorus flash mob in a local mall. I missed it but saw some amateur video. Excellent. Usually it takes us one or two years to catch up to trends.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 12, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick *Grover wave* from In-Law Land to note the Metrodome roof in Minnesota has given way under record snowfall, and the Giants-Vikings game has been postponed. They MIGHT be able to play tomorrow night. :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Metrodome is out of action for several days, according to NFL via ESPN, the location and time for Giants-Vikings now totally up in the air.

Hope frosti and the Frostfam are doing OK in the wake of the snowiest Dec. to date in MN.

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Suppose I will want to read *Colonel Roosevelt,* last of the Edmund Morris trilogy. Each time I picked up the earlier I was left disgruntled, wanting more. I will have it soon.

Gray gloom is our weather. But the cloud cover kept us from cooling off too much last night. I was called suddenly away from my first well-deserved sip of wine of the day yesterday after a morning spent stacking firewood, to venture across the city ("rain coming soon! Now is the time!") and install "sticky traps" aka tree banding, for the locally notorious and evil fall cankerworm.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/trees/note153/note153.htm

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

'Morning everybody. Just raining hard here, which I suppose is better than snow for getting errands done.

We had a wonderful evening at the Plymouth Philharmonic's holiday show last night. I'm ashamed that we'd never attended before. The orchestra, the adult chorus and the childrens chorus were all wonderful. Certainly enhanced our Christmas spirit. I think next year I'll bring the granddaughters.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

A balmy 75 here yesterday--only a short sleeve T-shirt or tank top required. One could close her eyes and dream of being on a chaise lounge poolside, reading a book, at a swanky local resort (two not too far from our home). Or just be on a chaise lounge in one's own backyard, sunning, soaking in the warm rays.

The trees here are brilliant yellows and reds and oranges. Fall has finally arrived! The burst of color brings to mind the need to bake the pumpkin pies, put the stuffed turkey on the barbecue, bring out the fall decorations, celebrate the autumnal brilliance of nature's showy palette. What? You mean it's NOT Thanksgiving?

Here's a new book to read while sunning on the chaise, by a Houston Chronicle business columnist, as featured on our book section in Sunday's dead-tree San Antonio Express-News. The title? "Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit."

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Author-exposes-BP-s-missteps-871197.php

Posted by: laloomis | December 12, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Cold rain in Philadelphia too.

I was going to the country for the weekend, another volunteer would have picked up my foster lab for me at the dropoff yesterday morning.

Weather forecasts for the drive changed that. Yesterday I left at 4 AM for the dropoff site, arriving at 5, following the truck full of rescue dogs into the parking lot. (Animal Planet has a series called "Last Chance Highway," which details these drives and dropoffs.) There were about 20 other people there, families, friends using videocameras, rescuers, fostering families, many close to tears. Me too. This is typically a small dropoff. I've heard others routinely are at least triple that.

All in all, 7 labs, aged 8 weeks to 6 years, got off, 3 to foster homes, mine included. 1 Anatolian Shepherd (a big mush) got off. Several bulldogs were visible, crated, inside the door. Some hundred dogs were going to new homes or 1 step closer to one. It was 23 degrees, windy; everyone was tired, frozen, smiling and happy.

The first dog, a black lab puppy around 4 months old, went to a family with 3 excited kids. His tail was shorter than usual but wagging non-stop. When the pup appeared, carried by the driver, a collective "Awwww" came from the crowd. The driver watched them go and said, "This is why I do this."

Callie, TBG and I have decided it's short for 'Calliope,' came out third from last with lots of encouragement, a little dazed and cautious. We walked a little then drove home.

She and my two ran around in the yard for a while, then I crated her and everyone took a long nap.

She's beautiful. Not your typical chocolate lab, she's a cinnamon color. Tiny, only 42 pounds, although she could use a few more on her. Delicate and agile. Her tail has non-lab feathers and curls a little, but her head and body say field lab. She was shy yesterday, but her tail was wagging by last night and this morning she tried playing with Emma. She's always looking to me or my dogs to see what to do.

So far, so good!

Posted by: -dbG- | December 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

dbG, she sounds wonderful! And very smart, to look at you or the others for guidance. Not alpha, which is a good thing in this context. Do give her some loving scratches and scritches under the chin and around the ears for me.

Posted by: ftb3 | December 12, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Aww dbG, you made me tear up with that description. This is why #2 has rescues also. I was looking back at photos of her second dog when he was first here and was amazed at how sad his eyes were then. He is a completely different dog now, still sweet and not too bright, but very lovable and now he has happy eyes.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. I'm watching last night's SNL on my Tivo. Sir Paul is singing a third song... A Day in the Life. Awesome. Pretty good show for a 68-year-old.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 12, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh.. now he's turned it into Give Peace a Chance.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful, dbG, I'm sure Callie's going to fit in great with you. :-)

ftb, looks like you get TWO NFL games this weekend -- Giants-Vikings will play @ Ford Field tomorrow night.

Almost feels like a normal Sunday afternoon -- games in HD, laptop humming -- now if only the hotel room had my fridge available. And if only the WiFi was slightly stronger than tea that's been steeped 30 seconds. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 12, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, guys! She needs all the support she can get!

I remember #2's #2 dog well, sneaks. Funny how you turn around and one day they're part of the family.

Time for a nap! Here's hoping all team wins to those who follow a team.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 12, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Love your description of Callie, dbG, she sounds like a keeper! I hope everything continues to go very well.

Weather is icky here, which means it's December. Cool and misty enough to be foggy but not really raining. As I say, icky. Tonight it's supposed to clear and get very, very, very cold.

The daughter of a good friend was supposed to take her chemistry exam tomorrow at Appalachian State, but the forecast was enough to make the administration cancel all activities for the day. She's going to Philly on Tuesday to apply for a student visa to study in Italy in the spring; she has to apply in person to the Italian Consulate there. She'll be home Wednesday and have to drive back to Boone to take that exam. Bummer.

Posted by: slyness | December 12, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Last week, Mom visited the ear-nose-throat doctor. His office had three dogs visiting, all from the receptionist's household, two labbish, one puggish. She had a non-stop fan club.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

bh72,
As best I can tell, Ikea buys from a lot of places other than China. My kitchen has cabinetry pieces from Slovakia, Italy, China, and the US. Hardware's probably China. Bistro glasses from Russia and Bulgaria.

The US started building new, improved locks for the Panama Canal in the 1930s but dumped the project when the war broke out. From then on, the US seems to have made no significant investments in the canal, and it took Panamá from takeover till now to get the new locks built, on the footprint of the abandoned 1930s project. If all goes well, the new locks should be an enormously big deal.

It would have taken far less digging to build a canal along the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. Don't know about the politics. The two countries are having a boundary dispute at the Caribbean end.

Thinking of labs, a neighbor had a sort of weimeraner-colored one.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 12, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what it is...I keep having these aural hallucinations. I minute ago I swear I heard someone say, "That was the first negative yardage the Redskins have had all day."

Clearly something's gone desperately wrong with my hearing.

And then I keep hearing, "Wide left, wide left."

I need to see a doctor.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Who was THAT????

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

New Kit! Isn't Joel watching the game???

Posted by: ftb3 | December 12, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Brian Vastag's fresh story on tree-killing invasive insects is good, but short.

We are facing tree calamity as native species are killed off by imported insects and disease, while non-native trees proliferate. Maryland could have a Great Paulownia Forest in a generation.

I don't know how much of a problem imported plants are. I think the Dutch plant trade (bulbs, perennials, cut flowers, whatever) is probably pretty safe. We import penjing plants (bonsai) and orchids from places like Taiwan. The plants are supposed to be raised in super-clean greenhouses.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/12/AR2010121202126.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | December 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

HBC,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLsFkZKj63U

Posted by: dmd3 | December 13, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

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