Category Archives: Pooge

Taking dumb to new depths

Remember when I had some dismissive things to say a few months ago about the aggressively stupid promos I get on my laptop regularly from the "Real Message Center?" I’ve noticed lately, during those split-seconds it takes to close that box when it pops up, that they’ve been getting worse and worse.

At least before, there was something from time to time that at least looked like something a reasonably intelligent person who wants to keep up with entertainment news (you may consider that to be a contradiction in terms, but there is a small set of such people) might want to click on, such as clips from a new movie or something. But check out today’s offerings:

  • Pop Starlets: Beautiful and Dumb
  • Celeb Love Connections + Amazing Race 13
  • Sexy Brunettes + Wild Musicians

And yes, I know one of y’all was kind enough to tell me how to turn this thing off so I don’t get the pop-ups any more, but most days it only takes a second or less of my time, and I’ve gotten to the point of morbid fascination now. I don’t watch Reality TV, so this gives me a way to track the degradation of the culture. How will they top (or should I say "bottom") themselves? I expect at some point to see a come-on about sacrificing hot, sexy Christians to lions with laser beams attached to their heads…

Loving me some planet


a gotta love this: So I’m going through my snail mail IN tray, something I do every month or so whether I need it or not (please, please don’t send me anything urgent or important via snail mail), and I run across this tabloid-sized publication called Environment & Climate News, and of course my usual move with anything unsolicited that is printed on something like newsprint is to toss it in the newsprint recycling bin.

But I can’t, because IT’S WRAPPED IN PLASTIC.

So who in the world who’s so interested in the environment be so utterly clueless as to send something so grotesquely incongruous to a crack, trained observer such as myself?

Well, once you know the answer you say "of course:" It’s our old friends Joseph L. Bast and his Heartland Institute, which is an organization that, like our governor, would never ever want gummint to do anything about climate change or anything like that.

Oh, and you say the picture above is hard to read on account of the glare? Well, that’s because IT’S WRAPPED IN PLASTIC!

But before you walk away chuckling, I should point out something that probably would never have struck me if not for my habit of saving up the mail to go through all at once: A few minutes before, I had dispensed with (by which I mean I had passed it on to Cindi because I noticed there was an item related to S.C. state policy) a publication called Health Care News, which as it happens is also put out by The Heartland Institute. Three guesses as to what the Institute wants us to do about health care. You got it: Nothing. (Mainly because the concept of "us" is anathema to such groups.)

This organization now has my attention. Ubiquity will do that. This group may be better funded, and operating on more fronts, than its spiritual brother Howard Rich.

Amazing the amount of money people will spend rather than pay taxes, isn’t it?


… and what about Aquaman?

More from the organization formerly known as The South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association:

Unveils New Name and Logo at 2008 Annual Convention

COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association (SCTLA) announced today they have a new name.   Now called the South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ), the name change is intended to reflect their new, broader mission and better represent the purpose of the organization.
    The name change was approved and finalized at the 2008 SCTLA/SCAJ annual convention in Hilton Head which ran August 7-10.
    "The mission of the South Carolina Association for Justice involves more than courtroom battles," said Pete Strom, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina who assumed office as President at the convention. "We will also work with elected officials and policy makers to create a legal system that protects everyone, not just the rich and the influential."
     SCAJ’s central mission to protect the rights of people will remain, but the group has expanded its purpose to become "the state’s leading advocate for justice and fairness under the law."  Organizational changes are also underway….

Wait a minute, doesn’t that come awfully close to trademark infringement with the Justice League of America? What do Superman, the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman have to say about this?


Obama as Bush III

Here it is not even Labor Day, and the "McCain as a third Bush term" idiocy has already gotten really, really old — even older than McCain himself (drum crash, please). It was a bankrupt notion from the beginning, since anyone who has ever paid the slightest attention knows that McCain is, within the Republican party, the closest you can possibly get to an ANTI-Bush. The point, to the extent that there is a point, in the McBush nonsense is that Republicans are all alike, and all bad. Typical partisan foolishness.

Here’s a break from all that — equally silly, but at least it’s a break. It’s a piece on the Root headlined, "What Camp Obama Has in Common With the Bushies." An excerpt:

    Allow me to apologize up-front for not drinking the Obama-aid. I like the reed-thin, caramel-colored, left-handed-jump-shot-having senator from Illinois and will probably vote for him, especially given the alternative. But I have had it with the Obama minions who decry any criticism, even policy-based, of him or his campaign. I don’t buy that "anything off-message is giving aid and comfort to the enemy" tactic.
    I have had a sneaking suspicion for months that the Obama campaign has been operating much like the Bush White House when it comes to dealing with criticism and protecting their man: Circle the wagons and cast any disparagement as treason. Unlike Bush, Obama rarely does the finger-wagging himself. His supporters do his bidding, so he can play it cool. But every once in a while The Cool One lets loose….

So enjoy the break. Then, I’m quite sure, we’ll all be dragged back to the other foolishness…

John Edwards speaks

Irony of ironies! No sooner do I speak dismissively of all the gossip about political also-ran John Edwards (you know, that guy I dismissed as a phony a year ago), but the guy steps out of the shadows and makes all that trashy, painful personal stuff a news story by talking publicly about it.

The spin cycle enthusiasts will have a field day with this, no doubt. Go ahead, y’all — yak away!

Lobbyists are people, too (sniff!)

You’ll like this. Today, I got a release from an organization called the American League of Lobbyists, which immediately raises two questions:

  1. Why have I never before heard of this organization, which says it has existed since 1979? Maybe they should hire a new lobbyist to get the word out a little better.
  2. Is there a National League of Lobbyists? Do they ever play against each other? If so, do they cheat?

Anyway, the release, which you can read in its entirety here , said in part:

Lobbyists Are
Citizens, Too


Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have


lobbyists persona non grata
as far as participation in the forthcoming campaigns. The leadership of the American League of
Lobbyists (ALL) vehemently objects to this treatment. ALL reminds the candidates that all


citizens are guaranteed the
right to petition the government under the First Amendment to the


a profession, lobbying is an easy target and a candidate automatically garners
public support with each declaration,” said Brian Pallasch, League President.


“What I have trouble with is the hypocritical nature of
these comments. Both candidates have
worked with lobbyists, recognize the value of their input, received legal
campaign contributions from lobbyists, and yet never hesitate to throw us to the
wolves when it behooves them to do so,” continued Pallasch…

It goes on and on like that: Whine, snivel, moan.

This is a hell of a way for any organization with "American" in its name to behave on D-Day. Suck it up, dammit! Take it like a man! Any self-respecting lobbyist I know would take the abuse, do his job, and then laugh all the way to the bank! You’re not being paid to be loved; you’re being paid to get the job done.

(But I will hand it to you for the implied threat in that third paragraph, and maybe that was the real intent of this release: "Both candidates have worked with lobbyists, recognize the value of their input, received legal campaign contributions from lobbyists…." Translation: We have stories we could tell about both of you…)

Aunt Joy’s Cakes

Here’s another excellent example of the places you can go when you combine an attention deficit problem with the magic of hypertext links.

I was reading the comments on this post, and decided to answer some points Peter brought up. In particular, I took issue with this assertion:

From the problems at Corrections, Health and Human Services, Commerce
and others, the blame ALWAYS stays at the agency and never seems to
rise to the governor….

In part, I said:

As for Corrections, please tell me what problems you think there are
that stem from the administrative side. The problem with Corrections is
deep, profound, fundamental, and lies with the Legislature. It is this:
That our lawmakers embrace locking people up when it is unnecessary,
and refuse to fund Corrections sufficiently to imprison that many
people effectively and safely, much less do anything in the way of

It’s an enormous waste of money to lock up nonviolent offenders,
people who pose no physical threat to the citizenry. In their own
perverse way, lawmakers agree with this equation. So they lock them up
anyway (because of some atavistic urge they have to do so), and just
don’t appropriate the money. The results are predictable.

Or were you suggesting there is something wrong with what Ozmint and
Sanford have done with the situation handed them? Personally, I don’t
see any failings on their parts that pose even a measurable fraction of
the systemic problem our laws create. (Ozmint’s greatest sin is
refusing to criticize the underlying situation more forcefully and on
the record, although he has recently begun to crawl out of that shell.) Here’s a column I wrote about that problem , back in 2005. Things have not changed since then…

There’s more, but I won’t bore you further, but will move on to the fun, ADD stuff.

Looking for links to support my assertions without having to go into even greater detail (yes, my comment was, unfortunately, much, much longer than that — as was Peter’s let me hasten to add), I ran across this old post.

I found myself rather frustrated in reading the comments on that one, because … well, for the usual reason that I get frustrated. I had simply noted that something Jon Ozmint had said was like something the Captain had said in "Cool Hand Luke." I thought that was cool in and of itself. For me the connection is the thing. It releases dopamine in my brain or whatever.

But to some of my correspondents, to whom everything has to be this big black-vs.-white argument, preferably of the ideological variety, my pointing that out was some kind of huge, bleeding-heart whine for the poor criminals or something. Such people ascribe to me an affinity for relevance that I don’t possess.

So, to prove to them that it WAS like what the Captain said (yes, we’re talking Strother Martin here), I went looking for the appropriate clip, and here it is. Now this next part is not my fault, because the YouTube page suggested it under "Related videos." It’s the scene in which the girl whom Dragline dubs "Lucille" washes the car. I had to go ahead and look at it for research purposes.

And then I got to wondering about the um, actress who portrayed "Lucille" with such compelling force. Turns out her name was "Joy Harmon," and she also portrayed a 30-foot-tall woman in "Village of the Giants," which is not to be confused with the 50-foot-woman Maureen Dowd recently referred to.

Now here’s the icing, as it were. Turns out that Wikipedia refers to Joy Patricia Harmon as "a baker and former American actress." It also says she wore a bikini in the famous "Cool Hand Luke" scene, which we know she did NOT do, but then everybody says Wikipedia gets things wrong. (Come on, safety pin — Pop!)

A baker?, you’re thinking. Exactly. So I had to read a little further, and I discovered that after she retired from washing cars and being abnormally tall, Ms. Harmon started a business in beautiful downtown Burbank, and it’s called "Aunt Joy’s Cakes." Really. She started the business because "The demand for her delicious treats became too great for her to do alone in her kitchen." (You hush now; Dragline doesn’t want you talking that way about his Lucille.)

So now you know. And now you see how pointless it is to argue against government restructuring.

And I get this pooge WHY exactly?

Most people get a lot of e-mail that they delete immediately, and I am surely no exception. In fact, I get so much that I have several accounts, as a way of sorting and triaging — a published one for the world (which I get to as soon as I can, and race through as quickly as possible, which involves a LOT of instantaneous deletion), an internal one for gotta-know-this-to-get-the-paper-out-today-type business, a couple of private ones (one of them for e-bills, which I do my best to ignore) and so forth.

But sometimes I pause with my finger over the "delete" key, just long enough to think "Why did I get this?" Some of the messages in this category are cool. For instance, I’ve somehow gotten on a lot of e-mail lists for commercial artists and photographers, which I forward to my daughter who’s majoring in graphic arts. Still don’t know why I get them, though.

Then there’s the stuff that’s kind of work-related, but I still don’t know how I got on the list. For instance, this one today (from a source I get messages from daily):

RNC Chairman Mike Duncan to Speak at Fayette County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan will deliver the keynote address to the Fayette County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner.  The dinner will be held on April 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the Griffin Gate Marriott’s Paddock Tent to benefit the Republican Party of Fayette County.  Details are available on the party’s website:

WHO:                RNC Chairman Mike Duncan
WHAT:              2008 Fayette County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner
WHEN:              Saturday, April 26, 2008 6:00 p.m. EDT

And all the way down, I’m thinking, Fayette County where? What state is this even in? Only at the very end to I get my answer:

WHERE:            Griffin Gate Marriott
                         Paddock Tent
                         1800 Newtown Pike
                         Lexington, KY 40511

Admittedly this comes from the Republican NATIONAL Committee, so I can see why I’m on their list. But what kind of doofus sends out a release nationally that doesn’t tell editors in the 49 other states that there is no way that they will EVER be interested in this. I mean, you know, I’m assuming that the purpose is that you would want editors to pay SOME attention to your releases at some point in the future, right? If not, why send out the damn’ things?

Yeah, I know, y’all don’t care about this. And even for me, it’s just one of a hundred or so petty irritations that I’ll endure today in my never-ending quest to inform and entertain thousands of Kansans. I mean, South Carolinians.

How clueless is Brad? Check his brackets


es, it’s that time of year when I truly do what so many of you think I do every day — offer my assessment about something that I know nothing about. In this case, the NCAA basketball tournament. Here’s last year’s effort. Above is an actual, undoctored photograph of the one I completed earlier today. (To keep me honest, you might want to print this one out, if you’re really that suspicious.)

I assure you that, once again, I’ve gotten through an entire season without watching, or checking the paper for the results of, a single game. No, wait — after hearing how excited my in-laws in Memphis were about a game between U. of Memphis and Tennessee, I did check the next morning to see how it came out. But I don’t remember which one won. I’m thinking it was UT, but then how did Memphis get seeded so high if that’s so? Whatever.

And no, I’m not going to go look up the answer, which would spoil the purity of my system for making predictions. I generally give the advantage to three kinds of teams:

  1. Schools that I or someone in my family have been associated with at some time or other (Like Fred Thompson, I’m a Memphis State grad, from the days when it was called Memphis State.)
  2. Catholic schools, or schools with Catholic-sounding names (I don’t know about St. Mary’s, but any school named for the Mother of God has to be good for at least one round, don’t you think?)
  3. Schools that were roundball powerhouses back when I was in college, as near as I can remember.

Oh, and I have one other rule — all things being roughly equal, bet on Duke. I did that for several rounds this year, getting them into the Final Four, but didn’t take them all the way.

Anyway, you’ll see that this year, I gave the most emphasis to Rule 1. Only time will tell if I was right.

Getting in touch with parties


his is a hopeless task, but I’m trying — on a Friday, of all times, my worst day of the week — to diminish some of the clutter on my desk.

I see part of it is an unopened envelope from the Libertarian National Committee, Inc. On it is emblazoned a pretty standard libertarian question:


Suddenly, I realize: Yes, as a matter of fact, I am!

So I toss it, unopened.

As an obsessive who never throws away anything, this is a major, liberating moment for me. And no, I’m not depriving myself of a source of information. I get this kind of pooge every day.

Speaking of sources of information, I got this release today from James Carville:

Dear Brad,

You know why I am always calling my friends at the DSCC before I go on the
air?  Because if you don’t have all the facts, you look awfully

Yeah, I agree, James. But if you want facts, tell me again why you’re calling a political party?

OK, wait just a sec — won’t take me long to find some stupid Republican stuff…

Here we go: I get a release from John Boehner making responsible, tch-tching noises about this Renzi joker… followed VERY quickly by ANOTHER release from John Boehner naming John Murtha as "PORKER OF THE YEAR."

Nothing like keeping things on a high plane there, John.

Sure, I know this is a stupid post about stupid stuff, but it beats
cleaning my desk while I wait for — there they are, the rest of the
! See ya.


Do my will, or I will blog out the moon! I mean BLOT! Blot out the Moon!


Gaze into the sky, ye mortals, and tremble! Behold my power as I stretch forth my hand! Especially between now and 10:01 p.m. Eastern time!

You must do my bidding; you have no choice — defy me, and lose the night’s most blessed illumination!

Hear me — you must henceforth vote for either Barack Obama or John McCain in all primaries yet to come!

Oh, and McCain — you must not ask Sanford to be your veep, or future generations will curse you as they stumble in the darkness!!!!

(Hey, I thought it was worth a try. It worked for Hank Morgan. Columbus, too.)

And after all that perfectly good sucking-up, too…

The Dems have officially said no to Stephen Colbert.

Bet he regrets all that free champagne poured on Sunday. Or not. This is, of course, a no-lose deal for Mr. Colbert. He can just as well run a sham write-in campaign as a sham conventional one.

Actually, this is a win-win for him on another level. He told the assembled Dems Sunday that he, for one, is not worried about the threatened Hollywood writers’ strike. If the writers are gone, he just keeps "campaigning," and his character’s story line progresses without missing a beat, and without recourse to reruns.

Meanwhile, not that it matters, but I wonder what the reasons were for the committee stiffing my most fameful fan? Could it be that they didn’t want anyone making a joke of their primary? If so, they’re far too late.

Um… who’s gonna tell the Maharishi what this looks like?

Do you sometimes get e-mail that makes you think somebody is sending you up? I certainly do, and I’m not just talking about the stuff I get from the S.C. Democratic and Republican parties….

Today’s prize-winner is in a category of its own. What do you say about a developer who wants to put up a "Tower of Invincibility" — I am not making this up!in downtown Washington, D.C.?

Oh, wait, I’m not finished. What do you further say when the design of the building tempts you to say such things as "Is that the design or are you just glad to see me?" and "What — the Washington monument wasn’t phallic enough for you?"

I’m just getting warmed up… the developer says he got the idea to build the tower from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Really. If the Maharishi dreamed this up, maybe there was something to those rumors about Mia Farrow.

Finally, the developer is asking the public to tell him where he should put his tower. Honestly — you can’t make up stuff like this. I can’t, anyway.

Maharishi, what have you done?

Such a deal: I put out zero effort, get loads of credit

All of you who are Democrats should thank me profusely. You could say, "Thanks a million," or even "Thanks two million!"

Not that I did anything — I promise. Nevertheless, I am apparently entitled to all the glory. Such is the message I derive from this press release, written in the standard bogus-personal style of these things:

Dear Brad,

It’s all thanks to you.

It’s because of you that we surpassed our $2 million goal by $58,270 in the hours before the September 30th deadline.

Every day when I walk into DSCC headquarters, the first thing I do is check on our online supporters and grassroots activism. And I continue to be astounded and invigorated by our partnership. As DSCC Chair, I can say that we are sustained by supporters like you who realize that early resources are the key to victory in 2008….

… Thank you again.


Sen. Chuck Schumer

Any time, Chuck, really.

If you’re curious, this supposedly links to a video that tells just how I helped bring this about. You watch it. I can’t look. After a while, I get embarrassed by all this praise.

Kidding aside, who falls for this stuff? Who actually gets all warm and fuzzy from such utter hokum?

‘Historic Myrtle Beach’

One of the pitfalls of being attention-span-deprived (and also one of the blessings, since it makes life so much more entertaining), is that the smallest thing can cause me to miss entirely the "important" parts of a message or document or presentation or whatever. I’m always too busy digging the one little thing that grabbed my attention.

Today, when I read this from the S.C. Republican Party…


2008 South Carolina Republican Party Presidential Candidates Debate media credential request form released
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Republican Party today released the 2008 South Carolina Republican Party Presidential Candidates Debate media credential request form…
    “We are extremely excited to extend a warm South Carolina welcome to journalists from across the country and the world to our historic event,” said South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson.  “Last May, our debate attracted hundreds of members of the media worldwide, but this next debate will attract even more.  Journalists understand the significance of having a debate just nine days before our primary election, and they know the 2008 presidential election could be decided on our stage that night.”
    In August, the South Carolina Republican Party announced that it had partnered with FOX News Channel to present a live, nationally-televised Republican Party presidential candidates debate on Thursday, January 10, 2008, in historic Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The debate will be held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center….

… the only thing I got out of it was "historic Myrtle Beach."

What an odd modifier to choose. "Historic Charleston," sure. "Historic Beaufort," certainly. Maybe even "historic Columbia," although that’s a stretch.

But Myrtle Beach? Historic? There are other modifiers I could think of, both complimentary and un-, but that one wouldn’t crowd out the others on the mad rush to the tip of my tongue.

And yet, when I think about it (which I can’t help doing, such is my curse and blessing), I realize that in terms of history that is truly relevant to my life, the moniker sort of works — if you think of "history" as the changes that come with passage through time.

Charleston is what it was when I lived there as a baby. "Historic," but in a static way — sort of frozen in time, like a museum exhibit. Yes, Joe Riley has done a lot to make it better, but a lot of what he’s done has been to revitalize what was once there — essentially, to make the museum livable, vibrant and dynamic.

But Myrtle Beach has been like America — a rowdy, hand-over-fist, unruly thing growing and changing like a weed and just as ugly, but always with an eye to what the people want right NOW. (And yes, the America I love is many other things as well, but this is a facet of America.)

I remember when there was the Pavilion amusement park and arcade, Chapin’s department store, and ONE hamburger joint, as far as what I took notice of…

It was the place kids growing up in South Carolina wanted to go, a la "Shag: The Movie." A generation before the time when that movie was set, the place we think of essentially didn’t exist. Then, it was the center of this youth culture, the one place in South Carolina that reflected the Southern California car culture of "American Graffiti." It was also a low-rent but picturesque resort of homey, idiosyncratic hotels and shacks and bungalows — a far more warm, inviting place than what it became after Hugo, with nine identical "houses" on stilts jammed together on a lot that previously would have held one battered low-slung getaway.

In the early 80s, the growth started to metastasize, the scrubby foliage that once surrounded beach homes giving way to condos by the thousand. And the equally scrubby stuff that gave the place its charm started disappearing. For me, the greatest blow came when the little family-oriented amusement park down in Surfside gave way to a high-rise Days Inn, but for most of us the ultimate crash didn’t hit until after the turn of the century, with the demolition of the Pavilion at the heart of the city itself.

It’s history that has certain visual styles to accompany each phase of my life, old pictures you can dig through like archaeologists  digging through strata of an abandoned aboriginal village.

So yeah, I guess "historic" works.


My not-so-secret identity

This post will serve as both a daily (sort of) contact report and a reflection on my changing image, as determined by the blog.

Twice this week I was contacted by people who apparently thought of me primarily as a blogger. Since I have a well-over-40-hour-a-week job that puts me in the public eye much more prominently than the blog (so I thought), and seeing as how the blog is just something I do when I can grab a minute — much of it late at night and on weekends — this sort of blows my little mind.

First, there was Peter Hamby, reporter/producer with CNN, who produced this story this week.

Peter had wanted to talk with me about the campaign — I thought because of my position as editorialHamby_2
page editor, because I’m used to that — so I asked him, as I did Doug, to meet me for breakfast Wednesday at the Cap City Club. I ran late, but when I called Peter he was late, too, and as it happened I was the first one there. I settled in to read the paper in the club’s foyer, and looked up each time the elevator let another passenger off on the 25th floor. Once, I saw this kid with the beginnings of a beard get off, start into the foyer, then turn back, and start pacing like he was waiting for somebody. I went back to the paper. Several minutes later, my cell phone rings. It’s Peter. He said he had arrived at the Club, but realized he was wearing sandals, and that that might not be appropriate. Where are you now? I asked. "At the entrance, next to the elevators." Peter was the "kid" with the beard. I told him we’d muddle through somehow, flip-flops or no, and we went on in.

I learned that he was living here until after the primary, that he had time on his hands because the candidates were spending their time in Iowa and New Hampshire these days, so he was trying to write a piece about how McCain was doing. He had found that several of the people he talked to seemed to expect McCain to do better here than conventional "wisdom" — that I wasn’t the only one, in other words.

But the thing that got me was that at one point, when I had been speaking of candidates who had visited with us, Peter asked whether was a member of the editorial board of the paper. And then I remembered that, going by his initial e-mail to me, he had first come to me through the blog:

    My name is Peter Hamby … I moved to Columbia 2 weeks ago to cover the
primaries for CNN. I’ll be here until January writing, reporting, shooting
video, etc …
    Anyway, I dig your blog, and wanted to use you for some analysis in a piece
I’m writing for about John McCain’s chances of winning in South
Carolina, in advance of his visit next week…. What do you think?

So I explained who I was. It was weird.

Then, today, I got this e-mail:

Hi Brad,

I’m working on putting together a blog guide of the most
influential political blogs in the early primary states and delegate-rich
states. Anyway, your blog comes highly recommended, so I will most likely be
including it. What are some of your biggest coups (picked up by  national media?
breaking news? causing someone to resign?) on the blog, and  what,
approximately, is your average daily hits? I’m on deadline, so I hope to hear
back from you soon.



Associate Editor
Campaigns & Elections  magazine

I responded (and failed to save the response), making sure to drop in the fact that I actually have a jobBcboard_021_2
on the side at the newspaper. I mentioned the recent noise over my Edwards column (190,000 page views on the version on, which is the version Drudge linked to), and the week when Thomas Ravenel was indicted (heaviest blog traffic yet). And she wrote back and asked me for a picture, and so I sent her the one shown here, which I thought made me look newspapermannish, rather than like a blogger — even though I’ve never used that photo in the paper, but only on the blog.

Theodora wrote back to say "Love the bowtie!"

What it WAS, was a warning…

Survival would be impossible in this doggy-dog world without friends to give us a heads-up when danger approaches. Here’s one I got today:

I have eight tickets for
this Saturday’s football game –  and we are making them available for members
of Senior Staff to purchase if any of you are interested.
First come, first served. 
Email me back.  The tickets are $35 each. 

Of course, as a veteran of 20 years of this craziness, I knew just what to do. I immediately scribbled,

(note to self: Don’t try to come in to work this

Without such an early-warning system, things could get ugly

I don’t know how to break it to you, but you got scooped on this one

Just got an op-ed submission,  and the e-mail containing it had this heading: "Timely op-ed on Diana’s death."

That would be Diana Spencer, who used to be married to the royal Brit with the ears. The proffered piece was titled,"What I learned from the Death of Princess Diana and the Life of Mother Teresa," and was authored by one Les T. Csorba.

Gosh, Lester, you got scooped by about 10 years. The competition totally spanked you on this one. Maybe you should drop the "timely" bit. Sorry, pal.

Well, not all that sorry. I’ve about had it with my e-mail slot being overwhelmed with unsolicited pooge.

Isn’t being Irish Catholic considered an extenuating circumstance?

Torn from the pages of a Caddyshack script, we have this item of sad celebrity news:

Associated Press Writer

(AP) – Bill Murray could face a drunken driving charge after
cruising through downtown Stockholm in a golf cart and refusing to take
a breath test, citing U.S. law.Murraybill
    Police officers spotted the
"Caddyshack" star early Monday in the slow-moving vehicle and noticed
he smelled of alcohol when they pulled him over, said
Detective-Inspector Christer Holmlund of the Stockholm police.
refused to blow in the (breath test) instrument, citing American
legislation," Holmlund told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "So we
applied the old method — a blood test. It will take 14 days before the
results are in."
    Murray, who had been at a golf tournament in
Sweden, signed a document admitting that he was driving under the
influence, and agreed to let a police officer plead guilty for him if
the case goes to court, Holmlund said.
    "Then he was let go. My guess is he went back to America," Holmlund said…

Here’s another way to test how much he’d had — if he did his character from "Caddyshack" when stopped, they should throw the book at him. I’m a huge Bill Murray fan, but that was his one bit that I never could abide.

That’s it! We’re going straight to SIX blades…

So if I’m running one of the major political parties in this state (which is what might happen to me if I’m very, very bad in this life), as I read this, I’m thinking, That’s it! We’re having our primary today!

Associated Press
Saturday, August 18, 2007
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Democrats and Republicans are moving closer to holding a closed presidential primary, the first joint primary in 16 years, on Jan. 15, people familiar with the negotiations said Friday.
     If Michigan goes ahead as planned, its primary would leapfrog over the recently moved South Carolina Republican primary, as well as many others.
    On Friday, top-level Democrats in Michigan discussed whether to have a primary or a caucus, with opinion leaning toward holding the mid-January primary, according to those in on the negotiations who asked not to be identified because the matter is not yet resolved.
    They say a primary would make the state more relevant in choosing the presidential nominee, although backers of presidential candidate John Edwards prefer a caucus.
    A Jan. 15 primary would put Michigan ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary, which last week moved up to Jan. 19, and the Nevada Republican and Democratic caucuses, also scheduled for that date. It also could give New Hampshire more impetus to move up its primary to keep its first-in-the-nation status, and may encourage Iowa to hold its caucuses in 2007….

This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite stories in The Onion, which basically involved putting into writing a thought I had had every time I’d seen an ad for razors in the past 30 years (please pardon the deleted expletives):

F___ Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades
By James M. Kilts
CEO and President,
The Gillette Company
February 18, 2004 | Issue 40•07
James M. Kilts
Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the f___ing vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That’s three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I’m telling you what happened — the bastards went to four blades. Now we’re standing around with our c___s in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we’re the chumps. Well, f___ it. We’re going to five blades….

That’s private enterprise for you (or at least, a reasonable satirical facsimile of private enterprise)! If we had somebody like that guy running the parties in S.C., we wouldn’t be getting pushed around like a bunch of chumps by those other states.