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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Beware the Green Room generals

By Joel Achenbach

The easiest job in the world is to call for a military intervention in a foreign land when you're five minutes removed from the danish tray in the TV studio's green room.

It's much harder when you're the actual president of the United States. Or the Secretary of Defense. Or the Secretary of State. The situation in Libya is so fluid and confusing -- is Gaddafi really offering to step down??? -- that part of the job of U.S. leaders is to avoid making the situation worse or do anything to bolster the anti-American factions across the Middle East.

That's a tricky business over there and I'm glad it's not my job to figure out what to do. But here's a more general point, one that's been on my mind since writing about the oil spill: Another part of the job of U.S. leaders is to know when to turn off the TV. The pundits and politicians, and most of all the presidential contenders, score points for sounding tough and burly and resolute and iron-fisted and jut-jawed when there's sound of gunfire in the distance. There are no consequences for most of them when things don't turn out as planned. They have a limo waiting.

There is enormous pressure, always, for people in power to do something big and dramatic to solve a problem. But plans backfire. They rarely survive contact with the enemy. It takes a certain level of political courage to remain cautious in crunch time.

By Joel Achenbach  | March 8, 2011; 9:45 AM ET
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Next: The pigeon at the table (cont.)


It is simply not in Barack Obama's nature to act precipitously.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 8, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

For which I am profoundly grateful, ed. It's one reason I voted for the man.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

If he does step down and other leaders in the area follow suit,do you think 10 years from now they will have a disposed dictator's 10 year reunion?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 8, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

If they're extant, gwe. ;)

[I got mudged bigtime so I'll just say
that I'm glad my use of extant
produced extensive exposition.]

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Now I've got the Marine Corps Hymn as an ear worm. 'Shores of Tripoli' deja vu.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

In case there shall be a front page alert for this kit, I suggest that the bunker be aired out. Shop Steward????? (*nudging gently to wake him up*)

Posted by: ftb3 | March 8, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It's been so long since I had a President I could sort of, kind of, sometimes actually TRUST I barely know what to think. Except that I do.

No white flint corn nixtamalization diatribes today, y'all.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

There's a common logical fallacy that states that if a lot of people believe something, then it must be true. And sometimes it is. The determinant is if people are advancing a position because they know it is true, or if they want it to be true. The latter situation typically arises when a conclusion is based on some underlying philosophical principle that the individuals involved cherish.

So the trick for a leader is to figure out *why* so many people might advocate something, and then attempt to evaluate the underlying reason. This President, by the way, is pretty good at that. He has the intellectual confidence to assert that he is smart enough to independently evaluate the validity of such underlying reasons.

This doesn't mean he is always right, but it does mean that he doesn't take "because we say so" for an answer.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 8, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

You bet, RD, which is why I still *heart* this President.

Posted by: ftb3 | March 8, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I realize this is dramatically off-topic, but I would like to relay to you the essential content of a NASA press release that just appeared in my email:



HOUSTON -- For the first time, NASA astronauts aboard an orbiting spacecraft were awakened by a live performance from Mission Control, as Todd Park Mohr and three other members of Big Head Todd and the Monsters performed "Blue Sky" live at 2:23 a.m. CST.


"Blue Sky" was written by the band as a tribute for Discovery's return to flight mission (STS-114) in 2005. The song received the most votes in NASA's "Top 40 song contest." The top two songs were played as wakeup music for the shuttle crew.


Receiving 722,662 votes (29 percent), "Blue Sky" outdistanced the "Theme from Star Trek." The theme received 671,133 votes (27 percent) and was played to wake the crew Monday morning with a special introduction by William Shatner, the actor who played Captain James
T. Kirk.


"On behalf of Big Head Todd and the Monsters and songwriters and artists everywhere, we just want to thank you so much for your courage, your bravery and your effort in just giving all of us a better shot at knowing more," Mohr told Lindsey and the crew. "It's very inspirational to the arts as well."


To watch the group play "Blue Sky" for Discovery's crew, visit:


I usually find these Press-Release-of-the-Day items, and news about the wake-up song played for the crew, to be pretty stupid and desperate-sounding. I like this one. I like the fact that it's for the last full day of flight of this Shuttle vehicle, I like the fact that it connects to Discovery's exceptional role in the Shuttle program, and I like the fact that the song was specifically inspired by manned spaceflight in this Shuttle.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Ever since 9-11 an inordinate number of friends and close acquaintances have been invited to appear on TV as "experts," though I now like "Green Room Generals" better. For those who've taken the plunge into punditry I can't help but think of them as the young and stupid LTs we all were at one time (even those who were NCOs first go through a not-quite-as-young and dumb patch). Sadly, some are still stupid precisely because they forget how different it is to be expounding when the decision makers don't have to rely on your counsel, much less what it's like to be responsible for making the decisions.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 8, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

A little more from the very end of that press release:


For information about the Discovery song contest and the Original Song Contest for STS-134, visit:

For information about the Space Shuttle Program, the STS-133 mission and to view pictures and video from the wakeup performance, visit:


The last two Shuttles to fly will be STS-134 (Endeavour) and STS-135 (Atlantis). Endeavour probably should get Hawaiian music, in honor of Captain James Cook's ship Endeavour. Also, music about sandwiches and citrus fruit.

The last flight, though. The last flight. Atlantis. Is there any alternative but Donovan's song "Atlantis"? It's kind of a dumb song, and I heard an interview with Donovan in which he was noticeably an empty-headed drug-addled moron. But still -- it's gotta be "Atlantis." Either that, or the theme music to the TV show "Voyage Beneath the Sea."

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Whoops! Sorry. "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."

Of course, I cited that show because I somehow imagined that the show's submarine was named Atlantis. Which it wasn't, it was named Seaview, but I stupidly did not Google it until after I posted.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The green room generals" (luuv that descriptiive ridicule!) are quaking in fear of the possibility that the "Obama Doctrine" may succeed, and said doctrine is really only the exercise of patience...what a concept!

Posted by: mfkpadrefan | March 8, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Hawaiian music. My favorite, "Hawaiian Cowboy".

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 8, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

*waving at mfkpadrefan!*

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

This on-topic for the last kit, but if you know any young people looking for a challenging position:

Charlie Sheen wants an intern with# TigerBlood
By Jenna Johnson

Well, here's a summer gig that promises to be memorable: Charlie Sheen tweeted this afternoon that he's looking to hire "a #winning INTERN with #TigerBlood."
And unlike a lot of internships out there, Sheen plans to pay his intern.
The first-round of applications are due Friday at midnight ... so, um, start winning now.

Posted by: bobsewell | March 8, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Even this early, I nominate mfkpadrefan for comment of the day for his/her "Obama Doctrine = Exercise of Patience."

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm here, ftb. Yes, I agree, we need to open up and air out the bunker, even if there's no front page alert. The bunker hasn't been used much of late, and it's gotten kind of musty and stale in there over the winter. So yes, airing it out would be a good idea. slyness, can you take a quick inventory and see if we need to re-stock any provisions? If so, justfax me the requisitions and purchase orders, and I'll sign them toot sweet.

I've always hated the term "Fat Tuesday." I much prefer "Big-boned Tuesday," or "Chunky Tuesday." Maybe even "Full-figured Tuesday." But there's no need to be insulting about it. Considering how the term got invented, maybe they ought to call it "Binge Tuesday," or "Last Chance Tuesday."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

A song about sandwiches and Hawaii, Tim? That can only be one tune: Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

As secretary Gates said the other day one must not forget that establishing a "No fly Zone" starts by taking out all anti-aerial defenses. Which translate into the US Navy and Air Force pounding the living carp out of yet another oil-rich Arab country air defense. Which, if the Mad Fox has followed the other, now deceased, Mad Man' stategy of planting his air defense in densely polulated area, means many civilian deaths. It is not decision to be taken lightly.

ABC news has the CS at three places on its frontpage. That is obscene.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 8, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

This is a timely kit. The pressure from certain pundits and organizations to do something about Libya seems to be ratcheting up. I've had my moments of doubt about some of President Obama's strategery and decisions, but I am so profoundly grateful that he is our president. It's such a relief to know that he is Just.Not.Going to posture, bluster and careen into foreign adventures (see McCain, John). My fave blogger on the incomprehensible logic (oxymoron, right?) of some of the neocons is Daniel Larison. He can really take those folks down!

I love Big Head Todd and the Monsters. I saw them years ago and it's still one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Not as good as Springsteen, of course, but up there.

Spring report for the Tidewater area: Daffodils, forsythia, crocus blooming; weeping willows green; ornamental pears and little girl magnolia ready to pop. If only we could get out of the 40's now.

Have a happy day, boodle and boss.

Posted by: Kim_1 | March 8, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The last thing we need is another "adventure" in an unfriendly Muslim country. There is almost no hope that the Libia situation is going to have a good outcome. If Ghadaffi maintains control, there will be a long period of recriminations against many of the rebels, most likely at the end of an AK-47. A protracted civil war is another possible outcome, and if Ghadaffi falls, there is a good likelyhood that the radical elements might ultimately take power. And I don't think there is anything much the U.S. can do about any of it without making things even worse unless other Arab nations ask us for intervention. And I don't see that happening because they have their own backs to watch.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 8, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Don't just do something, think.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

A Wall Street Journal demand for Immediate Action is getting a fair amount of attention.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 8, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

...and we need to attack another Arab country because the previous two turned out so well.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

One of the best decisions by this administration regarding defense is the vigorous pursuit of the Prompt Global Strike weapons system. It is my hope that, once deployed, it will allow us to withdraw our globe straddling military. Then nobody will ask us to intervene any longer.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 8, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I saw Bob Schieffer at the Newseum last night and when asked about Libya, he observed that wars are a lot easier to get into than out of.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

considering everything that's happening overseas, the gas prices and the fact that charlie sheen may want to cut of my head, put it in a box and send it to my mother - i DEF think we need to open up the bunker! it's just not SAFE out here, man!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I just filled up my tank and at 3.43 a gallon,it took almost $35.During the last spike in gas prices,I spent more time at the station and wanted more for my money.Extra paper towels,maybe a squeege or two,you know something for free or for the outrageous price.

Oh and Happy Fat Tuesday everyone,I am looking for my ravens beads to wear to work.

Have a Happy Fat day everyone!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | March 8, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Joel:

Posted by: Raysmom | March 8, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

mudge how bout fluffy tuesday... like gabriel iglesias "i'm not fat i'm fluffy!"

gwe - $43 this morning to fill my tank - $43!!! and i have a toyota celica - it's only a 12 gallon tank! i may hafta start selling platelets to afford my gas!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Mudge, I just did a quick once-over. The bunker is waaay dusty, so we'll need some Swiffer Dusters. Did the Dyson come back to you after being repaired? Amazing what bc and RD put that poor vacuum through. TP and paper towel inventory is good. The dishes and flatware are all accounted for, how did THAT happen? Wine cellar looks to be in good shape, but there isn't any beer. We really, really, really need to paint the porch and the rocking chairs, winter did a number on them. I'll let CqP and Talitha pick out the paint colors and we'll get it when the weather warms up enough. No snacks, let me know what you want and I'll make a Costco run. PO's in the fax to you now.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It's Greasy Tuesday, mon ami curmudgee'.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

SCC: only one e in that curmudge'.

Celebrated by cooking lamb sausage for lunch-- gave Wilbrodog a very little, too.

Lamb isn't that easy to get up here for some reason. Too many wolves, no doubt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

*briefly-surfacing-during-a-day-of-willy-nilly-running-about(-but-in-a-good-way-really-I'm-not-kidding) Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 8, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This needs no introduction-

Some samples-

Fat Tuesday = Chaim Levine
Martin Sheen = Shmoozle Tennenhaus
Barack Obama = Oscar Meyer Shnitzelman
Hillary Clinton = Golda Meir
Kurosawa Guy = Whoopie Goldberg

Posted by: kguy1 | March 8, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

*faxing signed POs back to slyness*

Yes, I have the Dyson. It's actually a new one-- I upgraded to the one that also picks up cat hair and dog hair, etc. We usually don't have a problem with pet hair, with two exceptions: when bc goes on his full moon excursions, and when Yoki drops by with the Berners.

I'll pick up a case of Yuengling.

Here's a suggestion for new porch chairs:,840.html

Although we can save a hundred bucks each here:|B004HKJZBY&CPNG=patio%20garden&ci_src=10043468&ci_sku=B004HKJZBY&ref=tgt_adv_XSB10001

And these are colorful...but plastic:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, we can do better on the chairs. These -- -- are around $100 and we can get some of the more artistic folks on the Boodle to paint our own quaint designs -- think of a chair decorated in "Rovestorm." See if Talitha or SeaSea or dr or any other knitter/weaver would do the work.

Posted by: nellie4 | March 8, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Add to the Costco run list:


3 sticks, pepperoni, for slicing
5 jugs, Cheetos
5 jugs, hard pretzels (unless you can get dbG to fax us a couple dozen soft pretzels from as Philly street vendor)
1 box, Tootsie Roll pops
2 lbs. aged Stilton blue cheese
3 bags, Chips Ahoy
2 dozen boxes, Mint Girl Scout cookies (just lock them in my office)
1 box, little plastic sabers to use for drink garnishes
1 box, assorted paper umbrellas for mai-tais
2 lbs. grapes (whatever's on sale)
1 giant bag, kettle corn
2 lbs. assorted diced cheese
3 loaves, artisan bread
pesto and oil, for dipping the artisanal bread
grated Parmesan cheese (for pesto)
dried apricots
two boxes, grape tomatoes
two stalks celery (or pre-cut)
two bags, baby carrots
Ranch dressing (for dipping carrots and celery)
i large can (or 2 small) honey-roasted nuts

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Just note that the same idiots who neglected Afghanistan and gave us Iraq are now advocating another war in Libya. That alone says that an intervention in Libya will be a mistake.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | March 8, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

what mudge - no oreos???? i promise i won't eat this all this time!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

scc this = them


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

mo, I forsook the Oreos on behalf of the mint Girl Scout Cookies (made from real mint Girl Scouts!!) (thanks, IM). My mistake.

Slyness, add some Oreos for mo. Put them someplace I can't find them.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't hurt to get a quart of milk, in case I find them.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

oops - i think i dun kilt it! see what i get for only popping in every once in a blue moon! lo siento!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Armless rocking chairs for $40.00 ...
for the sewers, knitters and guitar pickers of the Boodle. Solid oak and the design possibilities are infinite.

(I have an antique oak foldable, armless sewer's rocker that I carry to camp.)

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

oh, i joined the ranks of the knitters - just a hat and scarf so far and the hat got kinda funky and makes me look like a muffin head but hey, i try! i'll be making socks before you know it!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Really, T? I need a couple of those....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 8, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhh, yes ..... the link.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the chair is $199. The shipping is $40, right?

Posted by: bobsewell | March 8, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mo! Good to see you posting!

Got the list, Mudge. Is there enough cash in the BPH checking account to cover the debit at Costco? Just checking...

I have the perfect hiding spot for Mo's oreos, but don't ask, I'm not sharing.

Um. Chairs. That will be up to CqP and Talitha. I'm not touching the subject, in fact I don't plan to be in the same state.

I'm all for humanitarian aid to the besieged Libyans, but for God's sake no armed intervention! We can't afford it, in the first place. We have no business, in the second place. And we aren't likely to have a postive impact on the outcome, in the third place.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL, mortii. I've been knitting for 49 years and I still haven't mastered socks.
Now if we humans just didn't have heels I'd have an easier time.

Anyhoooo, welcome to the ranks. How big has your yarn stash grown? My handsdown favorite site for window-shopping or indulging a yarn jones .....

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bob ... thanks.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

s'what i'vd heard are the heels are tough - heck that have classes JUST for heels! my stash isn't that big - the place that i went to didn't have a huge selection but i found another place near my work so i'm in TROUBLEEEEEEEE - problem is i'm still a novice on what types of yarns/needles to use...

thanks slyness! good to be back - i know it's been forever but you know i've never truely gone away! in fact isn't there a bph coming up?

how can we think about helping the libyans when we are in danger of shutting down the government due to $$ constrants? do you know how many ppl that's going to affect??


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

CqP, this one has been "restored" (ruined) but is similar to my folding sewer's rocker. Mine has original needlepoint unholstery in a burnt gold/old rose medallion pattern and has an oil-rubbed oak finish, circa 1860. Got it years ago for $75 at an estate sale.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

mortii, one of the best things about is that they tell you what needles/guage to use for each yarn.
example .....

Just to the left of the color blocks under 'product information' it tells you that size 8 needles are recommended. Also, if you click the color you like it will give a great closeup. It's sinful, I tell ya!

I'm currently working up a cloche with this beaded silk indulgence, color "Paris Rain" .....

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

uh oh!


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

MO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Missed you terribly!

Picked up my dear wonderful (and now, somehow, clean) car this afternoon. What joy!

Posted by: ftb3 | March 8, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

i missed EVERYONE!! *HUGS*
(again with the hugging!)


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I just found this headline in the English version of a local online newspaper:

"Iranians mark Int'l Women's Day; 10 detained"

That's what happens when you try to squeeze two different ideas into the same headline! It was ten protesters, not women, who were arrested.

Posted by: orawh | March 8, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Foccacia bread. I stumbled on a recipe and the person (who needs to be cursed in a manner most foul) the didn't convert their ingredients into metric correctly. Chee. Ever try to add water to a too-dry dough already kneaded? We'll see. This is slowing down dinner...

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Although if Scotland wants to take out Ghadaffi I won't say anything.

I decided to spell it any way I like. It seems to work fine. My spell checker does not even attempt to suggest the correct way.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

metric? wuz that??


Posted by: mortii | March 8, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Standard line in my house:

"Hey! You fo'got yo bread!"

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Good evening boodle! Just popping in before the last quarterly board meeting of our little nonprofit over which I will preside as Exec. Dir. (lots of title, almost no $). My successor has been named and I will at last be free to find a job that doesn't necessarily leave time for all my do-gooder side projects. Ready to manage a hedge fund I am (insert appropriate evil cackle-I've tried a few but haven't selected the perfect one yet).

Guess it's time to dust off the old "What Color is Your Parachute?" A quick google tells me the ancient tome was updated in 2010. Am I the last to know?

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 8, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Hay Mudge, Got room in your garage?

Posted by: bh72 | March 8, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Knitters. Taking over the world, one person at a time. Bwahahahahaha

As for the rest, you cannot make a people do something they are not, ultimately, willing to do. You cannot make them change their mind unless they choose to change it. Even if we stopped all the bullets and bombs from getting in, they would still have knives, and cudgels and stones. They have to decide.

Our job should be to be ready to assist those who seek refuge and humanitarian aid.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 8, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to answer TBG's question about the 32 lbs birdie. She cooked well. Put in the oven at 12:30 and basted every 30 minutes (well, a couple of cycles ran 40 minutes as I walked the VLP for example, sue me) I took her out at 18:00, put the cover on the roasting pan, finished a few things and she was a tryptophanic delight at 18:30. This was Saturday. I fell asleep in the couch at 21:00.
The thawing is another story. The cooking was scheduled for Friday. On Wednesday night I put the stone-hard bird in the bottom of the beer fridge. When I checked early (say 06:00) on Friday morning it was still hard, only the top of the drums showed some softness. Out on the counter she went until late that day, then back in the fridge. I took her out Saturday morning then proceeded with the water-heater change out. When I prepped the bird around 12:00 that day it was very cold (the butter stuck well to the skin, a blessing) and the neck and gizzard inside the cavity were still well frozen.
I froze a couple of 1.5kg/3.5lbs packages with broth, I made turkey/cauliflower divan, turkey&kale soup, turkey hachis Parmentier and for the past 3 days turkey sandwiches was the breakfast of champions. There is some left for turkey salad for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

The Fungi rushed back to school from March break to have TWO snow days. The elementary schools will still be closed tomorrow, THREE snow days. They got buried under 60cm/24in. last weekend. In that town if you don't go up or down you are going across a hill; that doesn't help.
The local paper facebook picture page:

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 8, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh bloody heck SCC the whole thing.

Good game on TV, the Big Bad Bruins vs the Sainte Flanelle. 0-1 for the Good Guys.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 8, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Alexandra Petri on what she's giving up for Lent.
(there's a quiz, too)

Posted by: talitha1 | March 8, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Funny Talitha, reminds of this I saw earlier in the day.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 8, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the overwhelming desire for certain people to get us into wars. None of them want to raise taxes, of course. Few of them want to pay for any follow up. I bet most of them can't name a single person in "the opposition" that has asked for our help.

It doesn't matter. There's some stuff to blast. I particularly liked some of the trial balloons.

"Well, maybe we can just use cruise missiles to blow up some of their fighters on the ground... they'll think twice before they climb in one tomorrow."

"Why don't we just bomb their runways.... that'll slow them down."

"All we need to do is shoot down a couple of their fighters... they'll never get up in the air again."

One thing I have to admit is that a lot of the Tea Party is deadset against these silly ideas. I think it has to do with the whole "why are we attacking someone that hasn't attacked us and that we haven't declared war on and that is doing no harm to any of our stuff" think that they like to talk about.

There are times that I can hang with the Tea Party folks.

Posted by: baldinho | March 8, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine if McCain was President. He'd now be deciding which air squadron to use on Libya.... the one from Iraq, the one from Afghanistan, or the two in Georgia. Yikes.

Posted by: baldinho | March 8, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

I, too, think President Obama's wise to continue monitoring the situation(s) in Libya and refrain from action/US involvement for the time being.

One has to wonder if Gaddafi's stepping up attacks on his own people has some intent to draw the US or another country into some sort of action, by which Gaddafi would leverage in the media as a means to galvanize anti-Western organizations against those extra-Libyans involved (and by extension, the US).

Maybe a little farfetched, maybe not.

On another note, Boodlers, I think that tomorrow will be a good day.

And not just because it's Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.


Posted by: -bc- | March 8, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Forget the green room generals. Beware the European allies trying to use the US military for their own domestic interest in the same way they got us to bomb Serbia. It is way past time for us to quit carrying their water.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 8, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

EBA: I agree fully.

Posted by: baldinho | March 8, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Stepping away from any important conversations: I have never ever had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

Till I was a boodler, I did not know it was tradition. The last day before lent was about being properly shriven.(Properly shriven = 10 Hail Marys, 10 Our Fathers and an Act of Contrition without fail. The priests had no imagination.) Pancakes were reserved for Fridays in Lent.

Tis the season for one of my childhood favourites, scrambled pancakes. You put a quarter cup of oil in a deep pan and get it nice and hot. Then you dump all the pancake batter in. It kind of deep fries without deep frying. The hot oil causes it to form into little round balls and clumps. To top this, nothing but the best. Good old fashioned pure corn syrup poured on top.

I recall eating huge platefuls of this when I was young but it is so rich and sweet that a bite or two now and I am good. For days.

Meat would be a healthier option.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 8, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Alexandra Petri, She Who Couldn't Be Named In February is spreading some fake umbrage over this ComPost:

Who knew they were so touchy over poets up in Wasilla?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Beehive Corn Syrup dr? Loved that on waffles, but for pancakes - pure maple syrup.

ed and baldinho, I do disagree with your statements but as long as you were you both considered outside assistance for Iraq and Afganistan as unnecessary I will respect your opinions.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 8, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

So nice to see mo and dr here! And mo, glad to hear you've caught the knitting bug. Socks are a lot of fun to make, once you learn how. It took me 3 or 4 pairs before I figured out what size needle and how many stitches to start with to make a good fit for myself. I prefer knitting them from the cuff down - dr is a toes up sock knitter. Turning the heel is a bit of magic - so cool once you've done it a few times - as is Kitchener stitch for grafting the toe. I have mastered one kind of heel, dr does many different ones. So, try socks when you're ready. (I'd mention the fun colors and patterns sock yarn comes in, but yours will all be black, no?)

Posted by: seasea1 | March 8, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I'm confused - do you disagree with edbyronadams and baldinho because you think the West should step in and take out the Libyan fighter jets, or is your position something else?

Not that I really know what I think about this issue. Seems like something should be done, but the U.S. is a little overextended right now - can't someone else step in and do something just this once? OTOH, it seems wrong to sit idly by and wish someone else would do the right thing and help. Why can't Qqadafi just fold like the other tinpot dictators?

Planning a mental health day for tomorrow to catch up on things I ought to have caught up on over the weekend. Oh well, it's a long time between mental health days, at least.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | March 8, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not presuming to speak for dmd, Wheezy, but do speak for myself. We don't, generally, as outsiders, think that sending in the big guns as a first response is a good idea. We *do* think that as a major power, the USofA has serious weight to bring to bear at a negotiation-seat at a diplomatic table.

And you know, it is really strange, to those of us sitting to one side, to hear you all agree in conversation that your government and legal models are the best ever! possible! when it looks a little different from the outside.

I think this might be my purpose in life, to remind you that we (the outside) don't necessarily see y'all as you see yourselves. We have great respect for you, but don't think you can do no wrong.

Posted by: Yoki | March 9, 2011 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Spinning coconut palm, in Lummus Park, Miami Beach of course. It was an Art Basel project.

The Libya situation seems to have changed but little during the day.

The yard is in spring mode.

Hercules club tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis). Flowering. It's no flowering dogwood, but not bad for something so improbably tall and skinny.

One of the orchids, a nice compact plant, is putting on a nice show of yellow flowers.

The freeze-bitten mangoes are producing ample new sprouts, so they'll soon return to their non-fruit role of providing a green background for the back patio. They absolutely don't benefit from irrigation, so I need to figure out how best to get rid of grass under and near them (which does need watering to look nice).

I tied a small Oncidium orchid to the young live oak this evening.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | March 9, 2011 1:09 AM | Report abuse

bc - not far-fetched at all. Application of US force of any kind allows Gaddafi to change the narrative to one of American imperialism. And there are many people eager to believe such a new narrative.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 9, 2011 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I am not one of the folks that spouts about how weak and lily-livered the Europeans and our allies are. I do, however, feel that there is an opportunity for the US to reduce its military footprint around the globe.

I think the US should not reduce engagement internationally. It should, however, be very cautious if that engagement is going to be of the shooting variety.

I can't see even a remote similarity between whether the US should have gone to Afghanistan and whether we should attack LIbya. Perhaps someone with more knowledge can point out to me the parallels.

Posted by: baldinho | March 9, 2011 5:22 AM | Report abuse

My initial post from 8:53 last night was not in any way referring to international people loving to get the US into wars. I was talking about all green room generals domestic. We have lots.

Posted by: baldinho | March 9, 2011 5:58 AM | Report abuse

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

Good morning, friends. Slyness, I was up so early yesterday because had to be at the hospital by six, and then had an appointment with the specialist later in the morning. The specialist wants me to have surgery on both hands.

Can anyone here give me any insight on the surgery for carpal tunnel? I have it really bad in both hands.

I hope the President continues to think through the situation with Libya and all of the Middle East. It's not an easy situation and it calls for critical thinking. It's easy for the pundits to throw out answers, they just want air time.

Hello Mo, so good to hear from you. And Yoki, gotta love you with the wake-up horn.

I have my favorite guy this morning. He slept really good through the night. His mom took me yesterday for the doctor's appointment so giving her a break, plus the g-girl had a Butterfly event last night.

Have a groovy(real old word, not sure about the spelling!) day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 9, 2011 6:23 AM | Report abuse

For Cassandra .....

Slow down, you movin' too fast
You gotta make the mornin' last
Just kickin' down the cobblestones
Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy.

Hello lampost, whatcha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain'tcha got no rhymes for me?
Doo bee doo da, feelin' groovy.

Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you, all is groovy.
Paul Simon ... 59th St. Bridge Song

Cassandra, I'm sure you have deeds to do and promises to keep ... you always do. But it made me smile first thing this morning to be wished a groovy day. Thank you and back atcha!

Posted by: talitha1 | March 9, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

baldinho my comments were in reference to having to help Europe out repeatedly. The same nations
Bush was campaigning in the "you are with us or again us". Hard to ask for support, military, intelligence then slag the nations as being wimps.

If the US doesn't want to involved in Europe, fine, but then why be involved in NATO.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 9, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Yoki-hope you don't count me among those who reflexively agree that the US has the best government (in form or practice). As Mr. F#2, a career Army pilot, used to say. "We love it because it's OUR country. It'd be the same if we'd grown up somewhere else."

Good hearty oatmeal with berries and peanut butter or some cinnamon sugar scones for those what have to eat on the run.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 9, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Yoki...Where'd that come from? I don't think anyone was advocating a big gun first response (that horse has left the barn anyway -- first response was yanking out our people, second was economic, and certainly we've been talking with their neighbors and our friends around the world all along). While we have responded with lethal force pretty quickly in the past (1986 German discotheque, after lengthy talks with other nations), that wasn't the case after Pan Am 103 or many other incidents involving Libya. The relationship between the US and Libya has been all over the map for 60 years and our responses have been heavily influenced by who was at the helm of the US *and of the UK* at the time. This time around, it looks like France might be up at bat (remains to be seen if they'll ask for a pinch hitter).

While the US is the bright shining beacon for many around the world, the US government and legal systems as best ever! possible! is kind of contradictory on it's face in that one of the best things about our system is its built-in ability to evolve. The best is yet to come!

Besides, you might be surprised how many view your system.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 9, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Cassandra, I'm so sorry to hear about the carpal tunnel. I had that before I got my hypothyroidism under control. Not fun to wake up in the night because of the pain.

A glance at the front page says the US is considering humanitarian aid to Libya. Go for it! Other than that, no. Ghaddafi isn't a tin dictator, unfortunately. He's a megalomaniac madman and he was serious when he said he would fight to the death. So let's hope that's what happens, sooner rather than later.

As always these days, busy day ahead. See you all later!

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

*needing-a-mental-health-day-after-only-two-days-back-@-work-and-trying-to-be-polite-to-an-airline-rep-who's-describing-a-set-of-generally-unacceptable-options Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 9, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

The 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miz will be coming to the Kennedy Center.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 8:10 AM | Report abuse

LIT, not to be speaking for Yoki, but what she means is that of course you believe your systems are the best. It is right that you think so.

What everyone else in the world believes is that your systems are the best for you, a small but subtle difference.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 9, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

There is a new sheriff in town and he isn't the "Bring 'em on" type. So as they say in financial ad commercials, historical results are no indicator of future performance.

While the US has a long and storied (re: aforementioned Marine Corps anthem) tradition of interfering in other countries on the pretext of a variety of self-declared doctrines going back to Monroe, we also have a history of wading into places on humanitarian reasons where we have no compelling geopolitical interest. Both motives have had mixed success.

Where Libya fits into this continuum has yet to be seen. While intervention is definitely premature, standing on the sidelines while a genocidal civil war wages wouldn't be morally defensible either.

As for democracy, it is the worst system ever devised, except for all the others. As a jingoistic flag-waving patriotic descendant of two generation of servicemen, I am blindly loyal to my country and take great umbrage at any discussion of any of its alleged flaws, particularly by imperial minded potential invaders standing in wait on the border.

Seriously, I am rather fond of the American implementation of republican democracy. That it has grown and evolved into a continent spanning home to 300 million citizens from every portion of the globe hints that it might have done something right at some point. I have a lot of faith in our ability to right wrongs and injustices in the long run. But in the long run, we are all dead.

As for what Americans think about the subtle political and cultural nuances between the US and Canada, I suspect most don't.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

My wife pointed out to me that there is a 40th Anniversary Very Special Re-Issue of 'Bridge Over Trouble Waters' out. Start lamenting over how old you

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

You think *we* feel old, yello? How do you think Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel feel?

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 9, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Lamentations commencing.

I remember buying the Bridge Over Troubled Waters album quite clearly ... it was my sophomore year of college. Herbals, going braless, all night study sessions, anti-war moratoriums, Kent State. *sigh*

Posted by: talitha1 | March 9, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

And here is today's on-topic, on-boodle political cartoon from Pat Oliphant:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

After all, Paul Simon has done a lot of great things since S&G, but what he's really remembered for is his work of 40 years ago. And Art Garfunkel? Oy.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 9, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, protests "calling" for moratoriums anyway.

Posted by: talitha1 | March 9, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Today's on-topic, on-boodle political cartoon from Pat Oliphant:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

WaPo headline on last night's Glee summary: "WaPo Team TV's Emily Yahr blogs:"

Don't think I've ever seen the WaPo use "WaPo" anywhere. My understanding was they hated that abbreviation.

And there seems to be considerable byline confusion. The summary appears on Lisa de Moraes' colum. Then it has this major headline:

"'Glee': Gwyneth Paltrow returns! And talks about sex!

By Lisa de Moraes"

Only it isn't by Lisa de Moraes, because under the photo is says the aforementioned: ""WaPo Team TV's Emily Yahr blogs:"

So it appears Emily wrote the summary, not Lisa.

And then, at the very bottom, it says: "By Lisa de Moraes | March 9, 2011; 5:30 AM ET"

Only, of course, it wasn't.

And this headline is problematic: "Sign of the times: An updated Bible" because when you read the story, you learn that there are two updated Bibles, not one (one Catholic, one evangelical).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 9, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

*sigh* I loved Simon and Garfunkel. They were the only group all of whose albums I owned. I suppose they're still in the attic at my ex's house, ruined by the heat. I do have their greatest hits in my iPod list.

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

yello's post reminded me of a great idea I came up with, well I think it is a great idea.

With all the turmoil over dictators being thrown out, monarchs threatened. I think the Queen of England should announce an end to the British Monarchy set an example to the others around the world. We are centuries past the need for monarchs.

She is pretty possible so she could finish her term - then down they will retire to their castles.

As for Libya - humanitarian aid a no brainer, US involvement NO, but a multi-national force (nations TBD) possibly if required to prevent genocide.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 9, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

yello's post reminded me of a great idea I came up with, well I think it is a great idea.

With all the turmoil over dictators being thrown out, monarchs threatened. I think the Queen of England should announce an end to the British Monarchy set an example to the others around the world. We are centuries past the need for monarchs.

She is pretty possible so she could finish her term - then down they will retire to their castles.

As for Libya - humanitarian aid a no brainer, US involvement alone NO as I think it would be wrongly misinterpreted to easily , but a multi-national force (nations TBD which could include) possibly if required to prevent genocide.

Sorry if this posts twice this is the amended version, first one did not seem to post.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 9, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Emily Yahr writes all the Glee recaps.

I burst out laughing at the first note of 'Afternoon Delight'. I had to watch it four times and it got funnier with each viewing.

It's the New Christy Minstrels costumes, the deer-in-the-headlight looks of Artie, John Stamos's stammering, and my new personal catch phrase:

"Afternoon Delight is a dessert. It's made with coconut, pineapples, and marshmallow fluff."

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I read that article on the new bible translations earlier. Noted that one change in the evangelical edition was apropos to the discussion here on the boodle regarding St. Paul. Here it's not Paul but 1 Timothy 2:12.

old version: "I do not permit a woman to teach or HAVE authority over a man; she must be SILENT."

new version: "I do not permit a woman to teach or ASSUME authority over a man; she must be QUIET."


Posted by: talitha1 | March 9, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

yello-I just caught Glee this morning. Perhaps my favorite episode this season. Afternoon Delight was completely snortworthy. However, I hope "everyone has a random" becomes the catch phrase.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 9, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. The Boodle Boss seems to have come out of hibernation. There's a new kit!

(I heard that hungry growl ... oh, wait (that's me))

Posted by: ftb3 | March 9, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm also very fond of "It's not cheating because the plumbing is different."

My wife jabbed me at every mention of Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls. I am Santana trapped in a nerd's body.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I know yellojkt, though I often wish they did. If more people thought about the subtleties between too such similar nations, maybe more would think about the huge differences where culture and history are so different and why.

Posted by: --dr-- | March 9, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't quite understand what she meant by "everyone has a random." Can you translate, frosti?

Yes, I laughed my --- off when "Afternoon Delight" started. And the costumes. Very snortworthy.

talitha, I saw those differences -- but can't figure out what the import is. I don't see any difference between "having" authority (over a man) and "assuming" authority; nor do I see a spit's worth of difference between being "silent" versus being "quiet." (I don't think "quiet" in this context refers to lowering the volume of her voice; I think "being quiet" is meant to mean the same as "don't talk," shut up, etc.). To me they are two changes that make no difference whatsoever.

I thought the REALLY big change was fixing the millenium-old error between "young girl" and "virgin." But of course it's the keystone to the entire immaculate conception thing. But that whole discussion is nothing but a giant land mine. I'm not going anywhere near it. Let the bomb squad deal with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 9, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the only one that got mudged. Holly was lecturing the kids that when you sleep with someone, you are sleeping with everyone they slept with "and everyone has a random." meaning that you never know what you are getting into since your partner has inevitably exercised some bad judgment sometime in the past.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

When the yahoo in the corporate meeting is yammering factual errors and unwise platitudes and I'm completely caffeinated and my mind is going a mile a minute formulating ripostes but I'm keeping my mouth shut, that's silent. Watching my nephew work on tying flies for his trout fishing, that's quiet.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 9, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Pay no attention to me, I'm pretty useless.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 9, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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