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Bring Me the Head of Ben Domenech

It's March Madness for the blogging wing of the Washington Post. Excuse me if I shed no tears over the elimination, in the first round, indeed practically at the opening tip-off, of the new social-conservative blog, Red America, written by this cat who claims his name is "Ben Domenech." Apparently he saves time when writing by using words right off the shelf. Why produce customized writing when there are so many perfectly good words already crafted?

Domenech is supposedly 24, but I'm betting right here and now that he's a junior in high school. All this is under investigation. His blog, Red America, didn't contain anything that would make someone think he was the second coming of William F. Buckley. Indeed, this whole affair seems like a spoof, a prank, to make all the real, authentic, rock-ribbed, hard-headed if perhaps slightly lizard-hearted conservatives look bad. [But of course they say that about the entire last 5 years of American government.]

I have a slight beef with the headline on the web site saying "Ben Domenech Resigns." Can you resign a freelance position? I'm sorry, but this person was just a contractor, and was never, despite everything you may have heard, a Washington Post staffer, or even a washingtonpost.com staffer. (And yes, there's a difference betwixt the Post and post.com. They're two separate companies, in DC and Arlington -- though for all practical purposes there's only one Washington Post brand, and we ought to get everyone into the same building at some point.)

Someone I know who does a fair bit of online work for this paper, whose initials are Gene Weingarten, said this afternoon, "Journalism is journalism, and you need people who have an idea what they are doing, even if they are just fulminating on the web...Doing the chat in real time is a little dangerous and a little terrifying. There's no editing, no lawyering, no time for contemplation, and all of that is coupled with an understood mandate to be as provocative as possible. The thing is instantaneous and haphazard, but not random or thoughtless. You're relying on instincts to save you from a truly terrible blunder. Thirty years of journalism experience is not incidental to this process."

We're not supposed to blog about how the sausage gets made around here. Lots of eyeballs and knuckles and feet and tongues get thrown into the vat. Gizzards. Various unidentifiable organs. So let me just say that, although it's a journalistic disaster at first glance, this Red America episode will probably, upon seventh or eighth glance, turn out to be merely a shocking fiasco.

And then we'll all get over it. Mistakes happen. Call it a spasm of March Madness. Move along folks, nothing to see here...

[Domenech responds to the plagiarism allegations at redstate.com. Here, for example, is his explanation of why he seemed to have lifted something from P.J. O'Rourke: "I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O'Rourke's original."]

[Domenech's plagiarism was discovered by bloggers, including Oregon Guy at dailykos.com, and "James" at Your Logo Here. Much commentary also from such bloggers as Atrios and Jane Hamsher. Also the bloggers at the American Prospect. Opinionating for the conservatives, Michelle Malkin and Junkyard Blog. The editors of National Review Online apologized for a piece that Domenech allegedly plagiarized from a Cox News Service writer, and add, "With some evidence of possible problems with other pieces, we're also looking into other articles he wrote for NRO." Here's the Kurtz story in this morning's paper. Jay Rosen says The Post should have a competition to fill the next three political blogger slots.]

[And remember, we're still the second-best blogging newspaper in America!]

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 24, 2006; 2:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Stop and Steal the Flowers

Comments

You tell 'em, Joel.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay Joel, I didn't really post that suggested posting over at the other Post blog.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 24, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Okay Joel, I didn't really post that suggested posting over at the other Post blog.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 24, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey! There's an echo in here.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 24, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

BayouSelf, the self-duplicating is likely HAL getting back at all blog commentor everywhere. Note that I said HAL, not Hal.

Posted by: dr | March 24, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Don't dare me to do something stupid because I will.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/washpostblog/2006/03/ben_domenech_resigns.html#c260312

If one person walks in singing "Alice's Restaurant"...

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice touch with the this-isn't-Astroturf disclaimer, yellojkt.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 24, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I'm just wondering: when you wrote "...we ought to we ought to get everyone into the same building at some point" was that cool writerly repetition for rhythm and emphasis, or was that just the Moveable Type moving the type?

Like I said, I'm just wondering.

Posted by: Tim | March 24, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Joel writes:
We're not supposed to blog about how the sausage gets made around here. Lots of eyeballs and knuckles and feet and tongues get thrown into the vat. Gizzards. Various unidentifiable organs. So let me just say that, although it's a journalistic disaster at first glance, this Red America episode will probably, upon seventh or eighth glance, turn out to be merely a shocking fiasco.

Drat! I was expecting "The WashingtonPost.com Jungle," to be issued soon, written by none other than the illustrious Joel Upton Sinclair Achenbach.

A future reviewer writes:

In this powerful book, we enter the world of Ben Donenech,a young home-schooled Southern boy who arrives as a contractor at the washingtonpost.com filled with dreams of wealth, equal blogging opportunity, and freedom to write what he darn well pleases.

And we discover, through th pen of Joel Achenbach who chronicles young Ben's tale, the astonishing truth about "washingtonpost.com," the busy, flourishing, award-winning, filthy stockyards of American journalism, where new world visions perish in a jungle of human suffering.

Joel Upton Sinclair Achenbach, master of the muckraking, yellow-journalism novel, explores in this work of nonfiction the working journalist-contractor's lot at the turn of the 21st century: the backbreaking labor and research that goes into a conservative blog, the injustices of "wage-slavery," the bewildering chaos of urban and political life.

Posted by: Loomis | March 24, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I repeated those words for emphasis.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 24, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Emphasis, yes. But was it cool and writerly?

See, this is why the big boys get the big bucks, folks. Show me some home-schooled, second-rate, wet behind the ears punk who can employ clever devices like that to engage the eye and stutter the brain! That's what you get from a real Ivy League, or at least Garden State, education.

You may carry on.

Posted by: Tim | March 24, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I could have been could have been a contender.

Posted by: DomenreachofCarl | March 24, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice that Joel's got eye-talics?

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

JA gets eye-talics because he is beyond the pale.

Posted by: dr | March 24, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"will probably, upon seventh or eighth glance, turn out to be merely a shocking fiasco"!

Ha! (I love the word "fiasco.")

[But I'm not sure about "Move along folks, nothing to see here" -- I think that's been plagiarized.]

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

To hire a 24 year old to do a conservative blog wasn't a good call. It reminded me of the nomination of Harriet Meirs. Can somebody who was born after Reagan was elected really adequately represent sober conservative thought?

Then there is the whole notion of the intended audience. Most hardcore conservatives in DC are off reading the Washington Times anyway. More reasoning conservatives would have no interest in the views of a kid. Especially since by calling the blog "Red America" the Post was practically advertising that it would be all spin all the time.

None of which, though, comes close to excusing the sin of plagiarizing. That really is inexcusable. However, I really do think it got the Post out of a bad situation. And, as was suggested before, management can now honestly say, “Hey, we tried.”

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 5:58 PM | Report abuse

[Not just shocking, but shocking shocking.]

[emphasis mine]

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Joel, please don't put this Kit on the front page. I just don't think we could handle it.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse

text begins I guess we'll have to start writing in dictation form until we prove ourselves quotation italics worthy end quotation and demonstrate that we have the start italics savoir faire end italics to use them properly end post end tape.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 24, 2006 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Like, what TBG said.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I know somewhere, and perhaps here, someone is laughing and happy. That blog was doomed for failure anyway. I didn't read it, but the name said it all. And now we find out all this guy knew how to do was steal other people's words. It speaks volumes. Can you hear it?

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 24, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

On his Red State blog, under his nom de blog -- Augustine -- he was quite defensive. "My student-newspaper editor inserted that text. I never even read the source." "I had P.J. O'Rourke's permission, but nobody cited that." (the web page linked from Brady's blog item had nothing related to P.J. O'Rourke that I recall seeing. "That's pretty petty, worrying about what I might have done when I was 17." (I paraphrased that last one). The thing is, if he was 17 and know he'd done wrong, he could have just said so when the accusations appeared. 17 is a minor, most of the world would understand.

Poor dear. I weep for him. Weep, weep, weep.

Posted by: Tim | March 24, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Great review, Loomis. Make sure you post it on Amazon.

What would be the definitive sordid underbelly of the newspaper world book or movie? I'm drawing a blank. Most stories set in a newspaper have a kernel of warmth under the gruff exteriors. I want something truly expose quality.

And nobody mention "I Love Trouble". I'm trying to get those two hours of my life back.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 24, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Got the comment on the last kit about the government, RD, and yes, I'm learning, and I don't mind saying thank you one bit or even apologizing if I have offended.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 24, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Meanshile, over on Ben's site, he writes:

To my enemies: I take enormous solace in the fact that you spent this week bashing me, and not America.

That's about it. Oppose a guy like him, and you're against America. That's who he is in a nutshell. The Post hired this guy because his dad works at the White House. He didn't have any other credentials. The Post did that knowingly. Now we have Joel telling us, "Move on folks, THERE'S NOTHING TO SEE HERE". "Mistakes happen, he wasn't really hired, seemed like a prank all along", and so on and so forth. Bad show, Joel, THERE IS PLENTY TO SEE HERE, and decent readers are entitled to get a little better look at this important event.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 24, 2006 6:25 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci:
I agree with you re. the misuse of the word "surfacing" as discussed in the previous 'boodle. It seems the author of that sentence wrote something that was an error.

[We now return you to your regularly scheduled 'boodle. (My aplogies to CowTown for the plagiarization.)]

Posted by: Tom fan | March 24, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but when I say there's nothing to see here, there's nothing to see here, gol-darnit! Move along!

That said, I remembered that I promised to post this poem from poetlaureate, written a few days ago, which was for some mysterious reason gobbled up by the comment gobbler (it's possible the software has some beef with brackets).

Title: Post Toasties

The Post is toast it seems to me,
don't get me wrong, I'm all pro-family,
neutral on Debbie, hate profanity,
not monomaniac, little of this little of that
is all my song, but still it seems to me
the Post is toast.

I'm unfamiliar with the back-story,
fr'instance when they said that "We
don't want to spike that Froomkin *necessarily*,
He's very blunt and strong,
"At least", they said "We need
something mature, more horse [],
For balance, and what's wrong with that?"
That's the Post's boast.

Perhaps I'm the minority
But still it seems to me, perhaps to most,
They had some courage then,
Now they pay Ben to beat the gong,
He's 24, his dad was liason for Bush you see, that's it,
That's why they print his pompous [],
Alas, the Post is buttered toast.

I could go on, O Prince, but gosh, we're never met
I say it with regret, weeping, (I know you work there): Sadly, the Post
is toast (or so it seems).

Post this and if you do,
I could be Error's poet laureate,
Then I'll toast you !

Posted by: Achenbach | March 24, 2006 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Tim paraphrases Ben "The Red" Domenech: "That's pretty petty, worrying about what I might have done when I was 17."

For boodle's sake! The guy's only 24 years old. Seventeen isn't that long ago. It SHOULD matter if you get "hired" at 24 to blog on the Washington Post. (And, to be fair, it does seem to matter, so that's good.)

Reminds me of Henry Hyde calling his 4-year adulterous affair at age 41 a "youthful indiscretion."

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, is it the weekend????? Outta here...

Posted by: Achenbach | March 24, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe the rule of thumb ought to be that anyone who calls the late wife of MLK Jr. a "Communist" the day after her funeral maybe ought not to be given an official WaPo soapbox, but who am I to force my views of journalism on anyone?

Of course, if WaPo would like my services in calling people commies, I could certainly help out, so long as I'm paid. For starters, that guy I run into once in a while, he's a commie. A big, fat red flag wavin' commie.

I would expect proper compensation for my services, of course, but the above is just a sampling of my many talents. I only hope the editors at washingtonpost.com take me up on this. I could call it, "Guess Who's a Commie? Blog." Journalism at its finest!!!

Posted by: Huntsman | March 24, 2006 6:38 PM | Report abuse

John Kelly has posted a great plagiarism story on Marc Fisher's blog, Raw Fisher. So far there are no comments -- it's somewhat of a safe haven.

[I hope my drawing attention to this matter doesn't start a Red-Storm on Raw's blog . . .]

Posted by: Achen- and Kelly fan | March 24, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse


but there is Joel, there is so much to see here. In another country (Japan) it took probably three decades for a great newspaper (Asahi Shimbun) to go from being a post-war beacon of decency and modernization, to being just another run-of-the-mill echo of the LDP estalishment. Here we have, right before our eyes, a similar process vastly accelerated: A brave institution loses its balls on the way to being an echo of a new right-wing consensus establishment. There is a lot to see here. It would be rude of me to ask where you see yourself in this process, if I may be permitted to ask?

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 24, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, mister badger.
That sounds a bit dramatic to me. Maybe you're overthinking this?
As for Joel's role in the process, I'll hazard the guess that he's just an amused observer, like the rest of us.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - nobody in the government could be offended by the notion that we are not very responsive. In fact, the worst thing about working for the government is the number of government employees with whom you must invariably deal. I just get a good feeling from thinking that, in this rare situation, I was actually helpful. At least a little...

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I liked Kelly's story on Raw Fisher, but the best line was this one:

We made mimeographed copies (mmmm, that
smell) and distributed them to the rest
of the class(a)

Remember that wonderful, purple smell? When the papers were handed out, everyone held them up to their noses for a long sniiiiiifffff.


____________
(a)Kelly, John. Raw Fisher "Plagiarists I Have Known," washingtonpost.com, March 24, 2006. Washington, D.C.

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh TBG. That smell. Almost as good of a memory as the British female submariners on UFO.

Almost...

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, TBG! Love the footnote!

Oooh, I liked those purple "stencils" [as we used to call them] too.


I also enjoyed these lines from Kelly's kit [that could be a good name for a blog, albeit a slightly plagiarized one]:

"The class was filled with the sort of people you would expect, pale and soft English majors such as myself, waifish poetesses."

"One of the last assignments was to write a short story. Mine was some tortured thing about a girl whom the protagonist meets in a nightclub and how she rebuffs my, I mean his, advances."


[I hope Joel doesn't mind our bowing before false idols/kitters via his blog.]

Posted by: Tom fan | March 24, 2006 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, what about the NY Times, to take an example closer to home ? My point is there are lots of opportunities in a process like this for people to stand up and say: Hey we're going off the rails here. Who's facilitating this, what's going on, we're an important institution, people rely on us. But it doesn't seem to happen. Don't get me wrong, I get just as many laughs out of something like this as any animal, that's why I'm here. But when you get Joel saying it doesn't mean anything, they hired a White House bully to purportedly represent half of America, hey things happen... Then to me, it gets less funny, because I think someone should speak up. But you're right, that's just the way I am.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 24, 2006 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I just saw, on this Web site, an ad from the Hong Kong Tourism Board featuring a picture of the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. Why, I just visited that Buddha a few days ago! (They're not exaggerating when they call it "Big." It's colossal!) Not such a peaceful environment as the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas -- they actually had the nerve to be conducting roadwork in the vicinity, and there were too many bl**dy tourists there. (I know, I was one too -- which reminds me of RD Padouk's comment: "The worst thing about working for the government is the number of government employees with whom you must invariably deal." Ha!)

Compounding the coincidence of the Big Buddha's appearance on the Post's Web site is an IKEA ad featuring several items I recently purchased at IKEA here in Hong Kong. Either this whole blog and Web site are figments of my imagination, or we really are at the nexus of the Universe here.

(But I have one question regarding the IKEA ad: How does using an IKEA dish-draining rack, an IKEA scrubbing brush, and an IKEA cookie jar save you time in the kitchen? I'm spending just as much time there as I did when I used similar items purchased from Giant and CVS.)

(But the IKEA items are prettier. Maybe that means I'm actually spending *more* time in the kitchen. Om . . .)

Posted by: Dreamer | March 24, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"we ought to get everyone into the same building at some point"

Please, no. I like my relatively easy commute to Courthouse. Trying to get to 15th and L every day would be a nightmare!

Posted by: erik | March 24, 2006 8:06 PM | Report abuse

mister badger:
I think the Post -- along with other media outlets -- is going through some rapid changes right now, not necessarily by choice but because of the growth in Internet publishing, the blogosphere, etc. They have to think and act quickly to adapt to this ever-changing environment, which means testing out new approaches, and even making some things up as they go along, as we all must. I tend to put the Domenech fiasco in the category of an experiment, a case of "lets try this out and see if it works" (again, as is the case with so many things in life), rather than a component of some grand plan for the Post to become a mouthpiece for the right. So many things come down to trial and error rather than well-executed vision.

Which brings us back to the "monolithic entity" concept we so enjoy discussing on this blog. Joel, along with other Post employees who are not on its editorial board, has his own opinions as an individual that are not necessarily the same as those of other Post employees or of the Post's management, and he probably has little say in matters such as whether the Post hires a conservative blogger.

I really do believe that "stuff happens," and that there is an unbridgeable gap between the way things are and the way things "should be," and we can't always do much about it. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, which the Post seems to be doing in this instance. To me, intense criticism of Domenech, of the Post, of Jim Brady, of whomever, isn't terribly productive. (And some folks really seem to be extracting a lot of joy and satisfaction out of the mistakes made by the various parties to this incident -- you can almost hear the sound of hands being rubbed together with glee. But soon enough, it'll be someone else's turn -- maybe our own?)

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if the Biblical reference in the headline for this Kit works?

John loudly criticised King Herod (the son of Herod the Great). King Herod had married his brother's wife, who was called Herodias. Herodias persuaded Herod to have John thrown in jail. On Herod's birthday, Salome, Herodias's daughter, danced for the king. He was so entranced by her dancing that he promised her anything she desired as a reward. Herodias told Salome to ask for John the Baptist's head on a plate. Herod could not refuse and John was duly executed.

http://www.arnoldhouse.co.uk/site/pub/Pupils/religiousstudies/rs_biblestoriesrevision.html

Posted by: Loomis | March 24, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So Loomis, are you saying our Joel isn't an entrancing dancer?

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 8:41 PM | Report abuse

>Almost as good of a memory as the British female submariners on UFO.

RD, just in case you miissed it:

http://ufoseries.com/character/skyOp.jpg

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 24, 2006 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Bless you Error Flynn

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Chiming in late here to say, Joel, how much I enjoyed reading this kit and to say thanks, too, for directing me to Jay Rosen's blog, which is full of all sorts of interesting things.

It's been quite a week here at WaPo Central. I don't what the non-Post junkies do for fun, but it can't be as entertaining as the last few days have been.

Posted by: J.Rae | March 24, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"Next time, do a little research?" - GEICO caveman

Posted by: Jerkstore | March 24, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish to apologize to all female-type people and anybody else who might be offended by my juvenile fascination with the temptresses of my pre-pubescent life. I'm going to go dig out my old Rosary now....

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, I see what you're saying,

But

(1) Here's what doesn't have an answer. If this was a bona fide experiment, as you tend to think it was, then you'd have show what credentials they thought this guy had other than his White House connection. What are they going to say, what exactly did they like about what he had written, that made them think "publishing this kind of thing this would be a good bona fide experiment for us"? Here's what Brady has said so far: "We were completely unrepresented by a social conservative voice". Doesn't really answer the question, does it?

(2) Post "seems to be [learning from its "mistakes"] in this instance"? I guess you know something here that the rest of us don't. Do you think they will eventually vouchsafe some evidence of this "learning" ? Here's where Joel's impersonation of the friendly police officer, while amusing as always, isn't very encouraging.

(3) On the "intense criticism not terribly productive" point: I guess if they can get people to buy into points (1) and (2) then the criticism would ease. Otherwise not.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 24, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout them Patriots? I guess my husband's PhD means a little more, eh?

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 9:37 PM | Report abuse

In response to question (1), all I can suggest is that the Post must have figured that Domenech would appeal to a certain segment of the readership. Not a segment I happen to belong to, and I'm guessing not one you belong to either, but a segment that's out there nevertheless -- a segment that would consider Domenech's White House connection to be credentials enough. The Post didn't necessarily have to like what the guy had written -- it just had to believe that some of its readers would like it, and I'm sure some of the readers *did* like it. Seems to me the Post's only mistake was in hiring someone with a history of plagiarism. But bad hires happen in all fields and at all companies and organizations; recruiters lack perfect information. Once the hiring mistake was brought to light, steps were taken to correct it.

But really, what do I know? I'm not sure what came over me -- I don't usually argue this much.

Let's get back to Joel dancing like Salome . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

[And I *still* haven't learned my lesson re. posting a short first line followed by a hard return to avoid repetition of the last word of the first line.]

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Post thought the RA blog would appeal to any of their CURRENT readers. (There are now 765 comments on postblog--and still counting--supporting the END of the blog). I think they were looking for new eyeballs on the wapo.com site.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to only add features that will appeal to those of us who come here anyway. You've got to continually try to bring in new people to your site to maintain the growth that investors and shareholders are seeking.

I'm glad to see that the powers that be at the Post acted very quickly once the allegations against Domenech "were surfaced."

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 9:58 PM | Report abuse

A-fan,

I still haven't seen a double word in a post. Just remember that it's not really there, so don't sweat it (just like the extra tabs in the Comments box).

Posted by: TBG | March 24, 2006 10:01 PM | Report abuse

TBG - I could indeed access LexisNexis through the Woodson site. Thanks! Now my son has no excuse but to do better research.
Also - congrats on the Pats. I don't see any flames from GMU, so the celebration must be under control - so far.
Now I must go write a nice letter to Mother.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

RD Padouk:
Nice of you to apologize, but here in the 'boodle we've seen far worse than your "juvenile fascination with temptresses" and have lived to tell the tale. (But, again, nice of you to be aware of it and to apologize -- greatly appreciated.)

Posted by: Achenfan | March 24, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Personally I find it kind of creepy that there seems to be this pattern of Kool-Aid drinking 24 yr old political appointees that try to trim tab NASA scientists and now a news outlet like the Washington Post.
I thought conservatism was about meritocracy, not nepotism. Guess I was wrong. Hear about Barbra ("they never ahd it so good") Bush's contribution to Katrina? "Here's a check, as long as you give it to my son's company." Nice job, she gets the write-off. Dear IRS, is that legal?

Plus these guys all seem healthy enough, why don't they join up and fight the war they promote?

AARRRRGH

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 24, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

You are not arguing, you are explaining, and it is fascinating. You're suggesting the Post wants to attract a clientele that would consider a White House connection credentials enough, but the person with the White House connection had to be free of major civil or criminal liabilities. Let's see... Jeff Gannon? Judy Miller ? Has to be unindicted. I got it! Scott MacLellan. Who wouldn't read his stuff ?

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 24, 2006 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I never got a chance to read the Red America blog. Has it been expunged already? I thought it was a terrible idea, though, and that was before I knew about the plagiarism or the Communist remark. Sheesh, what is the Post (or post.com) thinking?

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 24, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

When Joel wrote the line about "move along," I took that as a wisecrack and not an actual command.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 24, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for George Mason! I read today in the Cherry Blossom chat that a good place to view them is the George Mason memorial - I didn't know there was one! (But I feel like I need to double check my facts.)

But Gonzaga lost, Wichita State lost (I was talking to someone today who was rooting for Wichita - had to confess I don't really follow basketball). Have to see how the Huskies do tonight (the real Huskies, the UW Huskies).

When my kid was about 12, the big jackets with college names became very popular. He wanted a Georgetown jacket - I was so excited because I told him, I went to Georgetown! I was hoping he might want to go there - but no - he just wanted a jacket like everyone else.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 24, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Joel - have you read some of the garbage that gets spewed on a daily basis over at Redstate? Just today some guy said he would celebrate if every liberal in America were found dead tomorrow, or words to that effect. It was on the comment thread under Ben's little defense of himself which he posted today. This kind of thing is a regular feature of Wingnut sites like Redstate, Little Green Footballs, and many others. Check out the site Orcinus (David Neiwert) - he does a good job of tracking this stuff. The wingers fantasize about mass deaths of liberals - regularly. There is simply nothing on the left side of the spectrum that comes close to this level of infantile, quasi-fascist thuggery. Really - they are pathological. I would gently hint at the possibility that you might cover this phenomenon at some point on your blog.

Ben is a perfect example of the paranoid right - victims to the bitter end. They take personal responsibility for nothing. They should not be allowed to bully the Post around with their bogus claims of liberal media bias.

The fact that Jim Brady and Deborah Howell are bending over backwards to accomodate these thugs does not, in my opinion, speak well for their character or that of the Post in general.

On the other hand, Jim and Debbie have a knack for putting targets on their backs. As someone said in a comment thread at Atrios yesterday, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

So I really dont know what to say to them - except that I cant wait for the next installment of right wingnuttia! It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Hang in there Joel, I know it can't be easy. At least you might suggest to Jim that he use Google the next time he wants to hire somebody.


-Sambo '82

Posted by: Sam Johnston | March 24, 2006 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Gadzooks, the "JA cain't lose" game just tipped off: Georgetown vs. Florida. Looks like they need to fix some padding on the backboard corner now...

Anyway, it would be a little dismissive to suggest that the Eds of WaPo.com had a sort of one night stand with a good-looking young guy they met at a cyberbar, found out that he was running a line he'd borrowed from someone else and promptly dumped him with the dawn, and now the Eds are doing a "walk of shame" across the Blogosphere campus.

Everybody makes mistakes when they're young. You learn that maybe you don't let a smooth-talking guy right into your Moveable Type and let him have a link front page without getting to know him well and developing a relationship based on mutual trust. Maybe if he's not ready for Comments, there's a reason.

Remember, practice safe Blogging and Commenting, everybody. The Blogosphere is OURoboros, and we should treat it that way.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 24, 2006 10:46 PM | Report abuse

RD,

In the UFO TV series there was an episode called "The Cat With Ten Lives", that's probably the one you remember. Siamese, sneaks around in SHADO HQ and messes with people's minds. Sort of an alien mind meld thing.

I hate it when that happens.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 24, 2006 11:16 PM | Report abuse

After thinking long and hard about this all evening, I'm seriously considering applying for the resident nutball wingnut right-wing fascist blog position that's apparently open at WaPo.com... I'm perfectly serious that I could write rambling drivel calling folks commies, but only for pay, and only if I can "borrow" some of my writings from others. Maybe I can start my blog as a blog within a blog, posting only to the Achenblog in the comments section, on a pro bono basis at first but always with my eyes on the prize. My first entry: people who believe dinosaurs pre-dated humans... are commies. Yep, commies. Big, hammer and sickel lovin' comrade commies. So are people who believe in evolution and who drink fluorinated water. Is this good enough, or am I not yet to the level of journalist excellence required before a paycheck can be had?

Posted by: Huntsman | March 24, 2006 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Huntsman, you had me at the name "Guess who's a commie Blog". Classic.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 24, 2006 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Guess what? This obscure media dinosaur called The New York Times did the unthinkable -- actually calling P.J. O'Rourke for comment -- and ... wait for it ... PJO'R says he never gave Domenech permission to print a warmed-over version of the "how to have a party" item under BenDom's byline. See for yourself.

Posted by: eck | March 25, 2006 12:01 AM | Report abuse

URL for NYT article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/25/business/25post.html

Posted by: eck | March 25, 2006 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up, eck.

I could hope that this is a continuation of the recent trend toward following up on assertions made by those in the public eye.

Bloggers, though not without some influence, do not have the amount of impact as those who make questionable claims, or lie, from podiums on Capitol Hill or at 1600.

I've missed critical thinking and fact-checking the past few years. I guess these were the ex-pat years for both.

But, to be positive, I do see signs of the meticulous drudgery necessary to independently verify official assertions.

Live by the blog, die by the blog.

DV

Posted by: DoubleVision | March 25, 2006 12:35 AM | Report abuse

As a flaming liberal, here's my challenge to Jim Brady-

How about hiring an authentic conservative to fill that WP.com blogging slot? A genuine conservative who we can respect and have an honest dialogue with; the kind that actually believes in balanced budgets, sensible foreign policy, keeping big government out of our private lives, and responsible stewardship of our natural resource base.

Don't give us any more of these faux-conservative Bush cultists. Hire the real deal and you might restore some respectability to your blog department.

Posted by: islander | March 25, 2006 3:25 AM | Report abuse

One has to assume that in seeking to feature a right-leaning blogger on its .com site, the Washington Post would have looked high and low to find the most perceptive and articulate candidate for the position-- and they came up with a 24-year old plagiarist named Domenech whose daddy has some sort of status in the GOP hierarchy. This means that either the WP vetting process was faulty in the extreme, or there just isn't much talent to choose from over there on the Right. In either case, it's not a pretty picture.

Posted by: cajun | March 25, 2006 3:30 AM | Report abuse

What's a blog?

Posted by: Jonathan | March 25, 2006 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan:
A blog is a Web log. This particular blog "will focus on science, history, sports, journalism, cool stuff that’s in the news, and my own inexorable psychological disintegration" (Achenbach JA, "About the Achenblog," January 17, 2005).

The Achenblog has also been called, by various contributers, a blogg, a blogue, and the unblogiest of blogs. (Go figure.)

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 5:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC [Self-Castigation Club] entry:

contributOrs.
(InconCEIVable!)
[From "The Princess Bride," 1987, directed by Rob Reiner, screenplay by William Goldman]

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Another SCC entry:
Achenbach JL, not Achenbach JA.
(Conceivable.)

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 5:50 AM | Report abuse

...written by this cat who claims his name
is "Ben Domenech"...amusingly put joel :-)

not even 6 days--less than creation!

ben seems to have had a high burn rate on
credibility...a very high burn rate...

Posted by: an american in siam... | March 25, 2006 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"The Princess Bride" was also based on the novel by S. Morgenstern as translated and abridged by William Goldman.

http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/makeup/6353/debate.html

I hope nobody's leg came off in Goldman's hand. My mother used to insist that Umberto Eco merely translated and edited "The Name Of The Rose", bless her gullible soul.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 8:47 AM | Report abuse

What was that, a second ranking newspaper blog, as determined by a couple of grad students and a professor?

Anyone with any sense of self respect wouldn't be blowing that sort of stuff around.

Gad!

Blechhhh.

Posted by: Billybob 9 | March 25, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Achenfan. In case it isn't obvious, I have what is known as a "Type R" personality. I suspect I am not the only person associated with this blog who can make this claim. In fact, the world is largely run by those who could use a little Vitamin R. The point is, I do tend to sometimes speak first and think later. It is just that when I do, it usually isn't transmitted to several continents.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

There's a lot of great stuff over on post.com. Kindly old Mr Badger says you could pack a lunch and make a long day of it. I won't spoil it for you. But I would like to point out something for the benefit of the Achenklatura: Brady's plea is that he was only looking for balance with "a little bit of buzz and some controversy as well". Nothing about factual richness, wit, the ability to absorb new information and think about it, anything like that. People have been able to zero in on the fact that the Buzz and Balance approach means he has already trashed the whole idea of journalism, opinion or otherwise. As an institutional manager you could target buzz if you are running a zoo, for instance, someone noted. There was a long post I haven't been able to find again, pointing out that there isn't any exactly right amount of red meat to throw to the Limbaughs and the Roves, they will always be demanding more until there are no unpleasant facts left. One person wrote: "Why hire a blogger just because he can throw more...outrageous accusations than others can?" Another wrote: "Where I was brought up, speaking the truth carries no obligation that it be balanced with lies. Is there not ONE honest person at the Post that knows this?" That was my question.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Billybob 9 is obviously unfamilar with the self-deprecating irony that passes for wit around here at the not-quite funny humor blog. Which of course is a completely transparant ploy, since the same survey that calls WaPo.com the second best newspaper blog, singles Joel out for their highest individual blogger's kudos. Only a master can pull this sort of self-promotion and come off looking modest.

Joel's cutting-edge self-effacement skilz come from decades of having to explain straight-faced why one would prefer to attend Princeton rather than Harvard, or even Yale.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

One response that the "editors" in question could make in light of the dust up would be: Thank you and may I have another sir/madame?

Posted by: ILL-logical | March 25, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Why is it some of us get to apologize for messing up, and the rest are hung from a tree or thrown in jail when they mess up? I just don't get that. And do you mean to tell me that the WashPost paid this guy to talk that talk? I need a part time job, any chance the Post might hire me, Joel? I can talk about race and that nightmare in America, and guess what, I'm not twenty-four.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The Domenech fiasco isn't a "Move along" issue, it's eblematic of something much deeper about today's Rethuglican Party.

Little "Ben" has learned well at the feet of the "masters" in the White House and at Red State Fascists. Lie, cheat, steal, obfuscate, take responsibility for nothing, blame others for your screwups. Hire folks totally unqualified for the jobs they are asked to perform and excuse their inepitude even though it may cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

Even worse, the media, as exempified by this recent Post debacle, just turns it heads and says "bothing to see, move along", as they serve their master's at 1600 Penn Ave. Why? Who knows? Maybe it's to preserve access, maybe it is out of fear from being pummelled by the liars on the right for 20+ years that they've turned into the proverbial abused spouse that actually believes they deserve to bve beaten to a bloody pulp.

What's clear to me is that we are teetering on a slippery slope looking at becoming a fascist state. IT won't take much. Bush already violates the law at will and no one is holding him responsible.

My guess is that the tipping point will be another terrorist attack. The masses of ignorant sheeple in America won't even blink then if Bush totally trashes the Constitution. They'll demand it.

Welcome to the long (or perhaps soon-to-come) end of the America that was once the envy of the world. IT's going to be very ugly. The best hope is that it takes two or three generations for the decline to third-rate nation status so the sheeple can forget how they once lived and the freedoms they had. IF it happens fast, the decline will turn into a chaotic bloodbath.

Posted by: WyldPirate | March 25, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I find it so interesting that the WaPo brand, that was so eager to toe the administration line in the march to war, is now so concerned about balance.

You know what the problem is here...Jim Brady is trying to impose some sort of moral equivalence that does not fit into the equation.

The Post online never had a left-wing version of this guy. It was an insult to insinuate that he was some sore of ideological counterpart to Dan Froomkin.

Froomkin's job is a media-watcher, and yes, he does bring an anti-establishment slant to it.

Have you considered, though, that the reason for this might just be as a counter-
balance to the mind-numbing acquiescence of the Washington press corps over the past 5 years?

These are scary times we live in when, if things aren't going well in Iraq we can shake things up by blaming the bad tidings on the media. Adn it gets lapped up as gosepl by the talking heads.

There is no oversight in Congress and precious little oversight done by reporters. Watergate coverage seems like it happened in another country.

It's nice to have one small corner, where a columnist like Froomkin, who more than anything else is keeping his eye on the way the press covers stories, can actually inform us as to what's going on.

You know the sad part here...if George Bush was having an affair, maybe it would actually inspire reporters to start questioning authority.

Our values in the media are truly skewed at the moment.

http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com

Posted by: scootmandubious | March 25, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Man, I wish the WaPo comments section had a preview button, to easier see the mistakes before submitting them. Sorry 'bout the typos.

Posted by: scootmandubious | March 25, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

scootmandubious,

We all want a preview button. It appears to exceed the capacity of Hal the Schemer to read the manual and figure out how to configure one. A spell-checker is beyond my wildest dreams. Until then, I have a standing SCC(Self-Castigating Correction, for newbies) on all typos that would embarrass a 12-year old on their Xanga page.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey, yellojkt -- I know Hal is an evil schemer and all, but don't you think he might take umbrage at your "exceed the capacity" comment? Hal -- like Jim Brady -- is human. If you cut him, does he not bleed?

I think Hal knows *exactly* what he's doing. And as he laughs that evil laugh of his, he's thinking, "Correct your own typos, suckers!"

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I secretly suspect that Moveable Type inserts typoes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Really. Its the only logical explonition.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Say what you want, I think Ben Domenech is/was a breath of fresh air in the space of the Washington Post online world. He was not only going to add a needed point of view, but also better air, which is often fouled with lengthy, self-gratifying, arrogant, hubristic blather.

Posted by: Bowser | March 25, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Achenfan,

You're on to my ploy. Pleading hasn't worked. I thought dissing his webmaster skilz might goad him. After all, the link on how to do it is right here:

http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/docs/3.2/07_comments/comment_submission_form.html

I guess we should just be grateful we are the only WaPo blog with legible comments.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Bowser, I disagree. A voice like Domenech would never appeal to anyone who wasn't already a rabid partisan.

Wouldn't you rather have, as a blogger from the right, somebody who based their arguments on facts, rather than emotions and character assassination.

There are intelligent bloggers from the right, but far too many are much more concerned with questioning the patriotism of those who dare to disagree with anything Bush says or does.

Please, do you really think your best choice is somebody who would refer to Coretta Scott King as a communist on the day of her funeral?

Is that the best you think your side can produce?

And who on WaPo right now is even remotely a left-of-center equivalent of that kind of hatred?

Posted by: scootmandubious | March 25, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

kindly old mister badger,

As of 11:15 am there were 820 comments on postblog about the Domenech fiasco. Better fill the cooler and bring a change of clothes.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 25, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It's not surprising that a 24 year old "conservative" would have a limited ability to discuss historical politics.

I've never met a Fine Young Conservative that had a solid grasp of the history and politics that occurred before they were... 20?
The older conservatives often have a very good grasp of history, but that's because they LIVED it.

I found that lying about PJ O"Rourke very foolish. He didn't think they'd check? This isn't the NY Times (rimshot). This business is all about checking.

Anybody who attempts to cover up a lie with another lie so glibly... I suspect he may be a compulsive liar who interviews well, works badly.

If Bowser wants entertaining lies, there are plenty of conservative bloggers and columnists who will probably claim Area 51 was a conspiracy of the Democrats to frame Nixon by sending out secret signals to make Nixon talk in his sleep and do all kinds of voices and thus falsify the tapes.

Gratituous bible quotation for the Christian right:
"What is Truth?" said jesting Pilate, and stayed not for the answer.

Truth is NOT calling Mrs. King a communist. Does that young whelp even know what communism is? Has he studied the disaster of communism in the Soviet Union, and why it seems to be flourishing (in modified form) yet in China?

The Berlin wall fell before he was 9 years old. Has he even seen a piece of it at the Newseum? Does he begin to understand that it symbolizes liberty and resistance against a corrupt system? The union of families torn asunder? Or why the Berlin wall was built in the first place?

I demand all blogging candiates for the WaPo take a few essay exams based on various points of history relevant to their blog field. And no plagarism... and then yes, hire'em.

I want there to be a conspiracy... a conspiracy to keep out the stupid, the lazy, the liars. But not with a Berlin Wall.

Posted by: Wilbrod | March 25, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

sorry, dozed off there for a second. Such a lovely day for an "outing", don't you think ?

Posted by: k | March 25, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

sorry, dozed off there for a second. Such a lovely day for an "outing", don't you think ?

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that they become whining victims so easily, when they spend so much time railing against just that. Oh, and "walk in the wilderness for awhile"?

Who is he now, Moses?

It seems to me if he wants some good stories to tell he has options. I hear the US Armed forces are looking for young men who devoutly believe in the cause. Perhaps he should consider enlisting. He'd get some great real stories, and if they're not it'd be that much harder to prove.

Win-win, eh?

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 25, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

RD, your comments at 11 am'ish have me laughing out loud. And thanks for the Mt Rainier lahar alert link in the previous boodle. Oddly disconcerting - I envision a traffic jam that would make Houstonians fleeing Rita look like a walk in the park.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Continuing my thought on what will happen when Rainier blows - which way would we go? Into the sea? Over the pass? Into Canada? I'd better get my passport in order...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking,

Consider the advantages of a couple of on/off road motorcycles in the garage. :-)

You can load a bunch of stuff on them, they're good on gas, you can travel on the highway, around it, or straight in-between two of them. Up and over hills, through trees and debris.

Not a bad item to have around if you're really in a potentially dangerous area. I'd sure have one if I lived in San Francisco.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 25, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, sorry I winged you above. I was replying to the post just above yours. What you say is all true and important, but I think if you read the posts over on post.com you will see that there is general agreement about the combination of idiocy and filth that was perpetrated here. We're in the majority ikn this. Re the person you were reacting to, as we say, res ipsa loquitur.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

We are watching the martyrdom of yet another right-thinking patriot at the hands of the liberal mainstream media. To paraphase one of their heroes, you won't have Box Trutle Ben to kick around for awhile. He *will* come back tan, fit, and rested.

With all the love he is getting after slinking back to his home turf, I have to think there are more Log Cabin Republicans than anyone cares to admit to.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, EF - that's a great idea, but me being on a motorcycle - especially off the road - is scarier than the volcano! Ha! My husband had a motorcycle a few years ago, partly for escaping disaster - he got it before the year 2000, which was freaking him out. Now a horse - that would work better for me.

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Today's "Guess Who's a Commie? Blog" Update:

Hillary Clinton is a commie. Yep, a commie. I know this doesn't come as much of a surprise to anyone, but I thought everyone should know the truth all the same. Richard Cohen, for writing a piece on Hillary Clinton, is also a commie: guilt by association.

Remember, watch for further Guess Who's a Commie? Blog updates in the comments sections of "real" WaPo blogs, like, say, this one. Yes, this blog is a parasitic blog, existing only in the comments sections of other blogs, but that should not keep WaPo from shelling out $$$ for my conservative ravings.

Also, that guy in Brokeback Mountain is a commie. He knows who I mean.

Posted by: Huntsman | March 25, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

RD, after reading the information from the link you gave me, I believe we live on a "fall" line, not fault. A lot of information, and pictures. Thanks again.


Joel, I'm serious, I need a job. Think you could put a word in for me, although I don't have White House connections, but I am from a Red State. I would forever be in your debt. What do you think?

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Domenech cannot by definition be a conservative and 24 years old at the same time. Just like every one else in this country, you embrace liberal stupidity as long as you are living on someone elses dole. You become a conservative only after you have worked for 30 years and accumulated sufficient assets that others start to try and take away from you because it is not fair. No, to be a conservative you have to have paid your dues and he not only has not but he is too stupid not to have committed a journalistic belly flop. Commie lib leftist socialist Democrat nut jobs seem just to crawl out from under a rock.

Posted by: Jim Hill | March 25, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Anything one accumulates thirty years or more will certainly get taken from him or her because in dying they will take nothing with them, someone else will enjoy it. And what ever is accumulated was here already, being provided by the Creator, God, through Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Our country has become so divided with this "blue state, red state" mess that we should be ashamed. And it not values that are touted, but riches and wealth, that people are using to divide and conquer. It is foolish to put your faith and trust in such temporal things. What happened to loving your neighbor, and seeking your brother or sister's good? How much money does one need in order to feel really good about themselves? What about your heart? Is it cold and hard or soft and pliable? Isn't peace important? Isn't truth important? Why isn't the example of Christ important in our lives? It's like we're lining up and drawing a line in the sand, and we'll not be satisfied until every living and breathing person in this world is dead. And somewhere, someone, has decided who is worthy of living. We can do better.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Possible new 'boodle handle now available: hubristic blatherer.

DV

Posted by: DoubleVision | March 25, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Jim,

I knew plenty of Young Republicans back in the Reagan Era that weren't old enough to vote but were convinced that conservative principles would save this country. One of them eventually got banned by the SEC for penny stock fraud and then exposed in the press for running a phony political action committee. All before the age of 30.

Youth and naive idealism are a cross-ideological phenomena. Conservatives are liberals that have been mugged and liberals are conservatives with a knocked-up girl friend.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt-- "conservatives are liberals that have been mugged and liberals are conservatives with a knocked-up girl friend." I'm still laughing. I don't know the truth of that statement, but it certainly is funny.

I believe people that have worked hard and accomplished a lot, hate and despise those that have not done as they have. America is a wealthy country, and that wealth has increased much under this administration. Is there a middle class now? It seems like one is either rich or poor. Where's the middle ground? Some folks that have money perhaps did not work for it, but those that have, really don't care for those that don't have. They see their lack as laziness, and lack of will to do better. With them it's either black or white, no in between.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so why does Weingarten get exempted from this blogging thing? Is it because he's now a big-time syndicated columnist who has almost reached the pinnacle of his career, where he'll be able to tell "booger jokes" and people will actually laugh at them? Doesn't he realize that when Dave Barry comes back from Hiatus (I've looked on the Florida map and still can't find it), he'll be back in the front of the WaPo Magazine, instead of on the coveted last page (and, of course, we all wonder where that will put Achenbach, whom we've all decided we can't live without)?

No, I say we grab Weingarten by his mustache, drag him in front of the computer, and make him set up a blog like everybody else. It's an injustice, I tell you, one that is surely reverberating through every corner of 1150 Fifteenth Street. Even Don Graham knows about it by now. He'd do something about it, but he's too busy preparing one-liners to shoot down the crazies who attend the shareholders' meeting on May 11. Trust me. It takes a month and a half, especially if you're Don Graham.

We're all waiting with bated eyes (can one's eyes be bated?) to read the Wein-O's online ramblings.

Posted by: Post-Mortem | March 25, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The only time the "poor and middle class" become valuable is when there's a war going on, and their sons and daughters are needed for that exercise. One rarely hears of rich folks sending their children to fight war. They ususally have more important things to do, like tell us simple-minded folks what to do.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Joel doesn't do a weekly chat. Gene updates his chat 3 times a week. That's more often than I post on my blog. I think that's all the Weingarten the world needs.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 25, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to recover my breath after ROFL at the "whose initials are Gene Weingarten" line. :-)

And re: Today's Kit Headline --
I have a sneaking suspicion Bloviating Ben would have someone else's head ready for whoever came to collect.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 25, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

And here I was, thinking I was free of the repeating word curse...

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 25, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

I think you would make an excellent Post blogger.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 25, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I am an upper-middle class white male. Conventional wisdom suggests I should support the Republicans, but I don't. For me, psychological forces easily trump socio-economic ones. I am more than my W2 form.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking, currently passports are not required to come to Canada...but soon. If Rainier did blow, you'd be welcome anyway. In need, in danger, we accept first and ask questions later, sometimes regrettably so, but you cannot have it both ways.

Now on to a more refreshing subject. Curling. hahaha

Our ladies, (US and Can) are masterful curlers. It went right down to the very last rock of the very last end. A really really good tight game. Your ladies won, and so tommorrow morning they face the mighty Sweden at 12:30 p.m. ET. I am cheering for the US because, well your skip was born in Canada, near where I grew up, though she has never been there since. I am telling you you can take the girl out of Saskatchewan but you cannot take Saskatchewan out of the girl.

Posted by: dr | March 25, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

You are so right dr. I am nothing but a boy from the Puyallup Valley on an extended road trip. My worry about Rainier is that a sudden earthquake-induced lahar might make it really tough to get back home.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

RD, I've always wanted to post signs on the roads (you know, the ones stapled to the Stop signs, etc) that say:

Spelling Tudor
703-555-1234

And see if anyone calls.

Posted by: TBG | March 25, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, dr - believe me, I love Canada. You'll have trouble getting me to leave...Thanks for the curling update - I'm watching figure skating on the Canadian channel now, but will see if I can track down the curling tomorrow. BTW, are they still partying in Newfoundland? (I'm hoping that's the correct province...and now hoping they're called provinces. I can see I have a lot of studying to do before I flee to Canada!)

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much, Error Flynn. And I also believe you would do that job magnificently!

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes to provinces, yes to newfoundland, and as of Tuesday or Wednesday last week, it would seem so. Newfoundland is a small place, in terms of people. Its a place where everyone knows you and they party like no one else. If you are watching a CBC channel, tune is earlier. Curling ends when the skating starts, or rather skating starts immediately after curling.

RD, backroads. Backroads can take you anywhere, its just takes a little longer is all.

Posted by: dr | March 25, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I probably don't have the scent for blood that is required for a job like that. And I'm pretty sure that would probably be a requirement, given the way some people can get vicious and mean. I would more than likely try to convert them, and that would piss them off mightly. And then I would try to apologize, and sooth their feelings, and they in turn would be looking for the place to stick the knife. And me, I wouldn't even see it coming. I wear my feelings on my sleeve a lot, and I would end up crying and feeling bad, and just out of sorts in all kinds of ways. The young man that was doing that blog (Red State) was probably trying to stay abreast of everything, and got lost in the shuffle. You know it's a job to keep up with being mean and hateful, takes a lot out of one. I'm sure keeping up with the latest meaness could be time consuming and quite a task. He was probably trying to imitate the grown-ups he had seen doing that conservative bit, and he was just not up to the challenge of all that, not having the length of time to devote to being mean and spiteful, and heaven knows what else. Of course, I doubt we've heard the last of him, he show up somewhere else just as mean and nasty as ever, or maybe even more so.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

RD "I am more than my W2 form." What a riot, I'm still laughing! I think you may have a life as a stand-up comedian. RD, a day without a post from you just is not a good day. I'm still laughing.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Buck Owens is no longer with us... *SIGH*

You don't know me, but you don't like me
You say you care less how I feel

But how many of you that sit and judge me
Ever walked the streets of Bakersfield.

Posted by: Scottynuke | March 25, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

As many of you can see, I'm on the computer all the time now. My little granddaughter is with her mother, and going to daycare. I miss her so much, and it's so lonesome here without her voice, and her getting into stuff. And at night it is really hard because she usually wouldn't go to sleep until eleve or twelve at night, wanting orange juice, and juice paks. Anything to keep from going to sleep. I know she's probably enjoying the daycare, getting to play with other kids, but my daughter said she cried the last two days. I just want to hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and miss her. Yet I know this is best for her. She needs the socializing skills to prepare her for school. Just miss her so much. I talked to her on the phone, and the only thing I understood her to say was, I love you grandma. And I told her I loved her too. I'm mush when it comes to those grandkids. My grandsons are suppose to come this week, I don't know if they will, I hope so, and maybe the little one too.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Republican right wing and, increasingly, the main stream media moguls who are frightened of the wrath of the unleashed phobia quelled by LOVE of God and Patriotism; have been willing to subjegate all principal to allow snot nosed neophites into the inter sanctom.

This is starting to ring a bit like Pol Pot of Cambodia.... or Lord of the Rings...

WTF?

Posted by: Macbeth | March 25, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,

The fact that my parents watched my kids while I worked part time, turned out to be the most valuable thing in my kids' lives. My mom died a couple of years ago, but after she had helped me raise my two and I'm so thankful that they knew her as well as they know me. Sometimes (heck, most of the time) I felt like they were better off at their grandparents' house than at mine. My mother often told me how much my kids and my sisters' kids enriched her life.

My children know they are very lucky that their grandparents were (my dad still) a huge part of their lives.

So you are very lucky Cassandra, to know your grandchildren so well. You and Nani both are so blessed. But your grandchildren are really the lucky ones to be starting out their lives so close to you. What you give them today (love, love, love) will stick with them forever and make them better people.

Posted by: TBG | March 25, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Huntsman, enjoyed the first installment of "Guess Who's a Commie?" I guess you have to work through the obvious ones like Hillary before they get shocking.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 25, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke,

Owens's obituary said that he moved TO Bakersfield. I was stunned. It also said he was born in Sherman, Texas, so maybe Bakersfield was an improvement. But, still...

Anyway, the music scene there was impressive (Bob Wills spent time there), combining lots of musical forms and ultimately giving us Merle Haggard. And, in spirit anyway, Dwight Yoakum. Bonnie Owens was married to both Owens and Haggard. She and Buck remained friends and she still sings backup with Haggard.

I like the quotes in the article about Buck's view of music. He didn't play "country music" he played "American music" and didn't care that the country music establishment wasn't happy with that. He also didn't like the countrypolitan crap that Nashville was producing in the late '60s and '70s. Damn, the man sounds like an outlaw before Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Good stuff.

Rest in peace, Buck.

Posted by: pj | March 25, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Combining yesterday's discussion of the RA blog and the SF geek discussion, maybe we should call whats-his-name's blog Red Shirt America since he lasted about as long.

Posted by: SonofCarl | March 25, 2006 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Macbeth, I think a comparison to the Pol Pot regime is just a tad dramatic.

What I'm most disturbed about is not Domenech's hiring, or his plagiarism, but the fact that this issue -- which as far as I can tell has been resolved, since the guy's been fired (there really is nothing to see here, folks)-- has drawn so much anger, hatred, and rudeness. And in a day or so, when all this has been forgotten, some *other* issue will have people spitting chips all over again. (Must be exhausting.)

Are the 800+ comments on post.blog a representative sample of modern society's manners, mental stability, and critical thinking skills? I hope not, but I fear so.

It continues to amaze me how people think it's OK to sling insults at strangers and at Post writers and editors via the Internet, as if the folks they're attacking aren't even human, and have no feelings, and how people who treat others so disrespectfully expect nothing but perfection from everyone else. (To quote Carolyn Hax again, "It's the rudest people who demand civility most.") Maybe people are so caught up in the idea of themselves as individuals with rights to say and do whatever they please that they forget they're surrounded by other individuals demanding the same. Maybe, despite their inclination toward ranting and raving, these angry posters see themselves as perfect and as totally justifed in casting the first stone (which almost seems to suggest some sort of mental illnes, no?)

Everyone sees themselves as a victim, even in situations that are only peripheral to their lives, and "the other" is the cause of all problems -- the other political party, the other religion, the other race, the neighbor on the other side of the fence, the co-worker, the Washington Post. But do the math -- we can't all be right. If everyone acts like a jerk, we're just going to end up with a world full of jerks, no matter how much respect each one demands from the other. At some point we have to stop pointing our finger at the other and start examining ourselves.

[End of my angry, disrespectful rant.]

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I stand in awe Achenfan. Really. Tell Mr. Achenfan to take you out to dinner and buy you a dozen roses. You nailed it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, RD -- that means a lot.
(I'd been thinking maybe I came across as a bit of a ratbag.)

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, easy there Achenfan. Kindly old Mr Badger here. Those 800-plus posts were mostly from people who care about the Post. And I think the level of critical thinking over there was pretty high, most of the time. They collectively made the point, in a variety of different ways, some of them admittedly disrespectful to Brady, that you can't run an institutions like the Post or rather the Website by going after "balance" and "buzz", as apparently Brady et al are going to continue to do. They know quality, and they know Brady has shown doesn't know what it is via the Ben fiasco. The Redstate people, true to form, denounce the critics as unhinged disrespectful people in a very sweeping way. Please don't you let yourself get caught up in the same kind of spiral. It's exactly what we're all trying to prevent.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

To return to an issue that really lasts - Grandparents. I love my parents very much, but that love is complicated by the issues inherent in being “reared.” My grandparents I simply loved. The ritualized tea parties from my British Grandmother where the ice cream had to be sliced. Siphoning raw red wine with my Italian grandfather. My maternal Grandfather’s workshed where each tool had a special painted silhouette on his pegboard. His wife, who made the best snickerdoodles on the planet. They are all gone now, and I am only beginning to understand the depth of love they must have had for me. Sometimes I think being a Grandparent is the reward for being a parent. The latter is often very hard; the former seems like a gift to take the edge off of growing old.
And I still have the Snickerdoodle recipe.

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 25, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Nicely done, Achenfan. The shallowness and self-absorbtion of the rants on that blog disturbed me and Tim made a comment to the effect that there wasn't much worth reading there. He certainly was right. Sadly, that occurs a lot in blogland.

But it's breakfast time for you now, not dinner time, isn't it? Another pot of tea or coffee and a muffin or pastry of your choice. whatever your preferences are. Just send the bill to Joel.

Posted by: pj | March 25, 2006 8:17 PM | Report abuse

It was only later in life that I found out my grandmother was mentally ill. But I loved her totally and she loved me totally and I never knew the extent of her problems (and my parents never ruined it for me by telling me while I was a kid and she was alive).

My memories of her are wonderful. I can still remember how it felt to be folded into her arms and her soft skin (apparently she used Crisco on her hands to keep them soft!) and I can still smell the kitchen when she was making stuffed grape leaves. And I think, looking back, that it was maybe her craziness that I loved, too. And now I have the pot she made the grape leaves in.

Posted by: TBG | March 25, 2006 8:29 PM | Report abuse

pj, you continue to amaze me with your depth and breadth of knowledge. I don't know much about Buck Owens or country music in general - but I saw Merle Haggard last year and he is a treat - and I think Bonnie Owens was singing backup, but I had no idea she had been married to both of them!

Achenfan, that was good. I haven't read the comments, or the Red America blog (I skimmed it but it was so distasteful to me that I didn't want to spend time trying to actually comprehend it). Thanks for saving me from having to...

RD, nice grandparent memories. Anytime you want to share the Snickerdoodle recipe, feel free...TBG, nice comment too (and I love your "Spelling Tudor" sign idea from awhile back!).

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

My mother's parents lived far away. They always sent a lot of presents at Christmas, but I didn't ever really know them. My father's parents lived on a farm some of the time when I was little so we had some of the stereotypical (and wonderful) experiences of milking the cow, gathering eggs, fishing in the pond, climbing trees and so on, when we visited them several times a year. But really it wasn't until after my grandpa died that I realized my relationship with my grandma, how much I was like her, how much I owed her for the effort she put into my father's upbringing. She got married young and they raised three boys in the dustbowl/depression days of western Oklahoma. That was a hard life, but she looked back on it at the end and she refused to characterize it as difficult--she had lived it not seeing any other possibility, so she remembered it that way too. I'm proud to be related to her, to be her descendant, as much as if she had been a duchess or a Nobel prize winner.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 25, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"I am nothing but a boy from the Puyallup Valley on an extended road trip."

That was a lovely line, RD. As for me, I'm just a farm girl from North Dakota who's been living in cities for, gosh, thirty-five years.

Posted by: J.Rae | March 25, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

You write:

[Domenech responds to the plagiarism allegations at redstate.com. Here, for example, is his explanation of why he seemed to have lifted something from P.J. O'Rourke: "I had met P.J. at a Republican event and asked his permission to do a college-specific version of his classic piece on partying. He granted permission, the piece was cleared with my editors at the paper, and it ran as inspired by O'Rourke's original."]

*********************************

Unbelievable. You print this excuse and don't bother to add (you know, for 'truthiness' sake) that O'Rourke publicly said that he never gave Domenech permission to use his work. Kind of important, don't you think, Joel? You know, that Domenech's "response" was a lie? Geez...

And btw, what was the process the washingtonpost.duh/Brady used to pick their conservative blogger? Who did they interview besides Domenech? Or was he hired out-of-hand because of his connections to the administration? I'd like Brady to address the question. And of course, I am still waiting for Brady to reveal the mystery liberal blogger that Domenech was hired to "balance."

Posted by: BarbinMD | March 25, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the comments on the post-Domenech thread, as well as on the thread that appeared after his first post were a real mix. Some were as hateful and/or as juvenile as anything that any wingnut ever generated, but, as mister badger says, many were from people who care about the Post, care about politics, and care about civil discourse.

I really do think that if he'd been a mature, thoughtful conservative, he'd have received a quite different response. Even though I am pretty consistently liberal, I am a regular reader of the Post's conservative columnists and one conservative blog. Although I often disagree, I can't remember being insulted or offended, and I immediately felt that way when I read Domenech's first post.

Someone on another blog said, "I don't care much for his politics, but I care even less for his character." I think that captures how many Post readers felt.

Posted by: J.Rae | March 25, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Easy, BarbinMD. Joel's post appeared well before the NY Times story reporting the interview w/ P.J. O'Rourke. He couldn't have known that O'Rourke would contradict Domenech's claim.

Posted by: J.Rae | March 25, 2006 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think the Post needs to add back the tag line to the Achenblog heading about humor and observations or whatever it used to say. That could explain some of the R-storms here lately.

J.Rae, I like your style. And I agree that there were plenty of sensible opinions mixed in with the shrieking on the 850+ comments on the post.blog. I was just going to make that point when I read your post. You said it much better.

Posted by: TBG | March 25, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

BarbinMD:
If you interpreted Joel's piece as a defense of Domenech, maybe you need to read it again. (Any obligation to get one's facts straight should work both ways, don't you think?)

And I don't think Jim Brady is under any obligation to disclose the names of other candidates interviewed for the conservative blogger position. (In fact, that sort of information would be confidential, wouldn't it? I'm guessing that if someone disclosed your name after you'd been unsuccessful in a job application, and you'd assumed the whole process was confidential, you'd be outraged. Appalled. Maybe even disgusted.)

And remember, the fact that Domenech plagiarized is not being debated here. He no longer works for the Post. He's gone.

Posted by: Achenfan | March 25, 2006 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all of you that commented regarding the grandchildren, it really does help. We talk so much about politics, and things going on in the world, and we forget the good stuff. Achenfan is right, we do talk mean to one another, and we all think we have the right to do that. We shouldn't though, even when it's done to us, it isn't good. I can't help but think about how Christ died on the cross for all of us, how he gave His life for us all, even the ones that hung Him on that cross, and all He ever asked us to do was love one another, and it is the hardest thing for us to do. We don't even try anymore, we love being nasty and hateful, myself included, and it isn't right or good. I don't want my grandchildren to be that way, because I love them too much for that. I want them to be good people. There's already enough hate in the world, they don't need to add to that. Good night all, sleep well, and may God bless you more than you can imagine through His Son, Jesus.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 10:07 PM | Report abuse

BarbinMD--
On your second point about "was he hired out of hand because of his connections to the administration...", it is a good question. A regular on this blog in response to a question I asked her said yesterday(March 24 9:48 PM, see above), something I thought was pretty insightful and in fact it seems to me more and more convincing. She wrote:
"The Post must have figured that Domenech would appeal to a certain segment of the readership...a segment that would consider Domenech's White House connection to be credentials enough. The Post didn't necessarily have to like what the guy had written--it just had to believe that some of its readers would."
Frankly I think that's a good part of the truth, except that it was probably incremental readership growth they were looking for, for instance as someone over on post.com said, looks like they're getting ready to fight for some rack space next to the Enquirer at the Wallmart checkout. In other words Brady's "vision" was "we have the moonbats, now we need to go out and get the wingnuts too". Not a real focus on journalistic excellence, shall we say. Unfortunately this seems to be the wrong place to try and have discussions about this. Beloved Leader Achenbach and what I call the Achenklatura around here have let it be known in various ways that continued discussion of this is disgusting schadenfreude and should be discontinued. So I was glad to see your post.

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Badger, just a note. If the truth is what you want to get out, I don't think it's wrong to do that, even here. And I don't believe anyone would object to you doing just that. As for me, I think being mean and nasty does not necessarily need to go along with that truth telling. Of course, we all at some point fall prey to that. Speak your mind.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

thank you Cassandra

Posted by: kindly old mister badger | March 25, 2006 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Buck Owens moved to Bakersfield in 1951, the year I was born in a maternity home in Oildale, a suburb just to the north of Bakersfield. I have Boodled about Buck's old television show from Bakersfield.

Some of you may remember that I Boodled that I worked the Wonders of the World concert at the Alamo last spring as press. After the gig at the Alamo, the next Wonders of the World concert was going to be staged at the Grand Canyon (South Rim?) last May and was to feature many of Merle Haggard's tunes. I would have liked to have attended/covered that as well--for both the setting and the music.

More info on the series of worldwide WOW concerts here:


http://www.plsn.com/Current-Issue/Production-Profile/ProdProf-Aug05

The itinerary reads like a travel buff’s plea to the patron saint of wanderlust—the Great Wall of China, the Alamo, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and Gorky Park. And that’s just for starters.

The Wonders of the World (WOW) concert video tour plans to touch down in several other famous locales in the coming months. The special series of one-off events showcases renowned musical performers with historical backdrops, filmed in high-definition digital video for eventual broadcast and DVD distribution.

The performers were set [for the Alamo concert]. Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett and a reunion of the Arc Angels were all nailed down. The critical component—the venue—was in limbo with less than three weeks to go. Finally, all approvals were secured. The Gipsy Kings were added as a special bonus headliner. Two weeks before the show, tickets went on sale for $100, all to benefit the Daughters’ efforts to restore the Long Barracks. The clock was ticking.


The next stop for the WOW tour is reported to be a Merle Haggard show later this summer at the Grand Canyon, followed by a stop at Mt. Rushmore before an overseas journey to Russia’s Gorky Park.

Posted by: Loomis | March 25, 2006 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I keep saying I'm going to bed, and after this one, I am. I wondered where you were all this time. Glad to see you back. Are you going to the Film festival?

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 25, 2006 10:47 PM | Report abuse

http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-firstandspring13mar26,1,6245787.story?coll=la-headlines-magazine

Why My Way Is Toward Bakersfield
[An Editor's Note]
Rick Wartzman
March 26, 2006


In his book "Californians: Searching for the Golden State," James D. Houston makes clear that, while it's close enough to L.A. to practically be reflected in its glitter, Kern County has never had much luck pulling in sightseers.

In one atlas, Houston notes, "on the page where 'Major Tourist Attractions' are marked with circles and dots of various colors, Kern is blank. Gray Line buses do not linger in Bakersfield or Oildale or Taft."

Though Houston's work was published in 1982, his words are essentially true today. But there's been at least one notable crowd magnet added since then: Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, opened in Bakersfield in 1996. [The Bakersfield Californian reports that Buck performed Friday night.]

Posted by: Loomis | March 25, 2006 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra,
I'm working on it--getting to the film festival. Taking the weekend off because my husband has just come back from a disaster recovery drill in Philly--exhausted and with some sort of intestinal bug. He slept at least half the day--just plumb tuckered out.

Thanks for asking. How are you feeling now? Are you over your bug?

Posted by: Loomis | March 25, 2006 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan,

I didn't saw it was a defense of Domenech. Perhaps you should read what I wrote again. My point is, the "response" was a lie and it's still here. An update is in order and would be much more responsible.

As for who else was interviewed? I think it's a valid question to ask what the process was in choosing the "balancing" voice. In fact, I'm still waiting to hear who Domenech was supposed to be balancing.

And finally, Domenech resigned...so the Washington Post is off the hook? They hired their "voice of the majority" who had no qualifications whatsoever and they didn't bother to vet his work. Now Brady will replace Domenech...the man he described as "the best" for the job...what does that say of Domenech's replacement?

Posted by: BarbinMD | March 25, 2006 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Latest installment of "Guess Who's a Commie? Blog":

Let's just say this com-unn-ist posts to the comments section of the Achenblog on a semi-regular basis. Now, this person is more of a Maoist than anything else, which is fair enough, but he--yes, it's a he--has a few clever tricks up his sleeve. And, no, of course it's not me. I'm no commie. Sometimes, I sing the Internationale in the shower, but never in Russian, and never on purpose. Now, since we all know Coretta Scott King (and MLK Jr., of course) was a communist, perhaps this will help give us some of the signs and symptoms of communism: interest in domestic affairs, concern about justice, and being a public figure. Hope this has been helpful, and remember: there's more where this comes from. Hope WaPo.com will consider me in its search for a replacement to the alleged "plagarist" (no spell check here, too lazy) (there's no "proof" of plagarism, just a few wild allegations and maybe some identical passages from some "articles" "written" by the former Red State blogger).

Red State.... come to think of it, only commies live in a "Red" state. Red, filthy commies.

Again, keep the faith, and watch out for commies.

Peace out, comrades.

Posted by: Huntsman | March 25, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Loomis re: your 3/24 8:37 post. The kit title is based on a Sam *[Monty Python] sniff* Peckinpah movie full of violence and mayhem. Kurosawaguy would have been all over that

Posted by: Person of Interest | March 25, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia. Damn your yellow eyes, POI.

Posted by: Huntsman | March 25, 2006 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Huntsman, just caught the last of a question-and-answer session with Angela Davis on C-SPAN2. She was answering a question about where she got her inspiration to be an activist, and she explained she grew up in an activist family, in Birmingham, AL. "My mother was a member of the NAACP, which in those days was tantamount to being a Communist."

I've lost track of Angela Davis - she spoke quite eloquently about building community, about how we are all stronger when the community is strong. Which in a way is what the ideal of communism is, not the horror it turned into as practiced by the Russians, Chinese, Cubans, etc...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Mostlylurking: In all seriousness for a second, and breaking character from the silly "Guess Who's a Commie? Blog," I'm afraid my opinion is that Angela Davis probably really is a commie, and not the good kind of commie (the kind that smiles, I guess). But I haven't researched her, and I could be completely wrong (it's happened before: one person in particular who I thought was a commie, who will remain nameless, impressed the hell out of me in a speech I attended... that old adage judge not, etc. sometimes holds true).

Posted by: Huntsman | March 25, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of bringing "good news" to the boodle, a couple of stories that caught my eye today. The first links are about the chief photographer at the Seattle PI who just passed away - sounds like quite a guy:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/264315_philfront25.html

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/jamieson/264362_robert25.html

And this is about some folks doing good in the world:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/264346_jefferson25.html

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

In the interest of bringing "good news" to the boodle, a couple of stories that caught my eye today. The first links are about the chief photographer at the Seattle PI who just passed away - sounds like quite a guy:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/264315_philfront25.html

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/jamieson/264362_robert25.html

And so as not to violate the more than 2 links rule, I'll post the next separately - sheesh!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 11:52 PM | Report abuse

And this is about some folks doing good in the world:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/264346_jefferson25.html

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Huntsman, I know - I was quite surprised how completely reasonable she sounded. She did say something about having gotten older and being an "activist" in different ways. I'm curious about what she's been doing - not even sure when she got out of prison. And of course, these days, I don't even know what Communists believe!

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 25, 2006 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Fear: stating obvious to intelligent blogosphere, esp. Loomis

Comfort: enjoying Achenblog even if I have nothing else to say

Posted by: Person of Interest | March 25, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, POI and Huntsman - I knew the Kit title was a reference to a movie, but could not come up with it. You're right, kguy would've been all over it.

And BarbinMD, remember, Joel is writing a humor blog here. Although, it can be kind of hard to tell at times - he's subtle, wry, offbeat - maybe not always so funny...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 26, 2006 12:05 AM | Report abuse

All I ask about politics is that people don't put me against the wall and shoot me.

Posted by: Huntsman | March 26, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

And hooray for Kimmie Meissner of Bel Air, MD -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/25/AR2006032500961.html

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 26, 2006 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the dangers of mixing journalism and satire. What we have is someone posting to the mob, for the mob, and dictate by the mob.

Where a piece would be about plagiarism and WP's stance to remove the individual, has turned into a three-ring circus (maybe because the mob is a circus to begin with).

Gather around folks, and get your red-hots here, I the Kingmaker Achenblog, and this Emperor wears no clothes!

[But who is watching the Emperor?]

A sucker is born everyday, indeed.

[Oops, is that plagiarism?]

SandyK
Who wonders if mankind will stop devolving in this world of rubberneckers and exploiters, who love being peddled by rubbernecks and exploiters -- looks around here -- nope!

Posted by: SandyK | March 26, 2006 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, the cold, flu, is better, had to take a series of antibiotics because of the respiratory infection. Feel a lot better, and thanks for asking.


Good morning to all. On my way to Sunday school. Hope your Sunday is good, and get some rest, those that work so hard. Give God some of your time, through Christ. I will remember all of you in my prayers, and please remember me in yours. Love ya.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 26, 2006 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Drifting back on topic here (possibly unprecedented for me)...

The whole Red America blog brouhaha really stayed beneath my radar the last few days--it felt like a local issue that had little to do with me. But the thought that it might evaporate without my ever having read it motivated me to click on over there this morning and give it a perusal. I failed to be outraged or shocked, although I was somewhat startled by this rhetoric:

=======
"Apparently, this violent testosterone-fueled psychological imperitive[sic] - not a coherent and just strategy for defending America in response to the first major attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor - is the real reason for our war in Iraq."
========

Rearranged into a straightforward statement, it reads like this:

"The war in Iraq is a coherent and just strategy for defending America in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

========

Um, okay. If someone says that to me, I definitely don't argue. I tell them, let's agree to disagree, because we are never going to be on the same side of this issue. But even though it is an explicit defense of the Bush administration's actions, the statement is not in line with official White House policy. Bush and Company walk a narrow rhetorical line on this issue and haven't come out with anything this frank on the subject.

Overall, the main result of my early morning reading of Red America was the discovery of another potential blog handle, viz. Unhinged Element.

I like it. It kinda reminds me of me.

Now I'm off to read the Sunday magazine (I don't go to that *early* Sunday School like Cassandra S.)

Posted by: kbertocci | March 26, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Everyone please feel free to continue posting on this thread if you have more to say about the Domenech matter, though I personally find that I'm already forgetting how to spell his name. It seems very "last week" to me, but then I have the attention span of an electron [This Analogy Under Construction]. SandyK at 3 in the morning suggests that this post was somehow red meat tossed to a mob, but fyi, one thing I like about the boodle is that it's not a mob at all -- feels more like a neighborhood. All types. Many topics. Tolerance for contrary viewpoints. This is not the place to come to read 200 consecutive comments calling someone a fascist or a moonbat.

Meanwhile, if you can stand to change topics, I have posted the Sunday column. It's about spring as a competitive phenomenon.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 26, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

If this is a neighborhood, it's more like one straight from Paris (like one ready to ignite the city, again).

Only thing missing is a torch and gasoline.

Maybe one day Achenbach when you're in the hot seat you'll understand, it's not fun and games (the guy could've been a jerk for all I know, but if we act/behave like we criticize, we're no better).

Food for thought.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 26, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

>Only thing missing is a torch and gasoline.

Well, congrats for being inflammatory in service of someone who was... inflammatory.
In my experience this is a lot more like a small cafe than a student riot.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 26, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

THE BOTTOM LINE

Jim Brady looked at his bottom line
(O the moonbats and the wingnuts)
Just then his phone did ring
(was it Karl, was it W himself?)

I heard you need more wingnuts
Said the voice at the other end
(Was it Karl, was it W himself?)
I have your man, he's just the man for you
(O the wingnuts and the moonbats)

O thank you, said Jim Brady,
Cause a man ain't nothin but a man,
And before I let these Froomkins get me down,
Be selling WashPost at the Wallmart checkout, yes I will
(Was it Karl, was it W himself?)

What happened then made the whole world stare:
Three bloggers in their underwear
(O the moonbats, christ those moonbats)
Sayin where shall we our breakfast take,

With a down, derry-derry down-a-down.
In yonder Washington there lies a wingnut slain,
(O the moonbats and the wingnuts)
The hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their great commitments keep,
(Was it to Karl, was it to W himself?)

Posted by: tseliot | March 26, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

mostlylurking,

That's cool that you got to see Merle Haggard last year. I've seen him twice and would love to do so again. The second time was in a small club and after intermission, Bonnie Owens said that she had gotten several requests for songs from the audience. She said she'd try, but Haggard doesn't use a set list. He turns to his guitar player, says what song is next. The guitar player then tells the rest of the group, meanwhile Haggard is starting to play the song and the band has to catch up. They always did. It was very impressive.

Posted by: pj | March 26, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why any online newspaper has to have "bloggers". It just seems like a way to cash in on the latest thing. News organizations already have editorialists/commentators with opposing views on their rosters. Just balance them out and leave it at that.

Posted by: philbu | March 26, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

tselliot,
I love that poem. It captures the whole kefuffle. Speaking of kerfuffles, I hav plugged this in the new boodle too, but I came up with the Top Ten Excuses Used By Plagarists:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2006/03/plague-of-plagiarists.html

Posted by: yellojkt | March 26, 2006 8:59 PM | Report abuse

"The best hope is that it takes two or three generations for the decline to third-rate nation status so the sheeple can forget how they once lived and the freedoms they had."


this is the crux of the matter...


it has been occuring over the last 30 years...


bet you didn't know that poppie was involved in attempts on Castros life via mafia and cia before he really entered politics, and was director of the CIA in 1976?


as I said in an earlier post, what kinds of minds purposely keep slaves from learning to read?

people that have families that have been around long enough to have been through "something similar," although I haven't read Machiavelli lately, maybe it's in there..


that's why it's frightening, there are kids alive now that have never been anything but cynical about life in America...as a majority

the only thing that I hope is that things become obvious...

people learn that appeal to emotion is that, it's not fact or even allowable as credible information by all but the most unerudite...

like most of...


well, people that are living life working and exist with soundbite space...

ciao, and happy hunting..

I can feel Charlie in here.
.

Posted by: what mystery liberal blogger? | March 27, 2006 12:08 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: sUM JErk | March 27, 2006 8:31 AM | Report abuse

You had me at the title "Bring me the head of Ben Domenech".

Posted by: Pat | March 27, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

didn't have time to read all the comments, but I believe either atrios or americablog has commentsf rom PJ O'Rourke saying that he doesn't even KNOW Domenech, and that he never gave him any sort of permission.

So Domenech is not only a plagiarist, he's may well be a liar as well.

So sad.

Posted by: brendan | March 27, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Then there is the whole notion of the intended audience. Most hardcore conservatives in DC are off reading the Washington Times anyway. More reasoning conservatives would have no interest in the views of a kid. Especially since by calling the blog "Red America" the Post was practically advertising that it would be all spin all the time."

Posted by: RD Padouk | March 24, 2006 05:58 PM

I'm late to the party, but this is not necessarily the case. It's like that "Diamond" Jim Brady just decided, in his 'running to Hugh Hewitt for solace' way that it would shut up some blog critics on the LGF/Freeperati axis if he gave one of the Boyz a gig.

I'm sure it helped to find one who appeared ready made to infuriate most of the non-drooling blogosphere. I doubt very strongly that there was any 'segement' of the readership to whom Benjy was supposed to appeal. He was a hacktackular appointment for the sake of Jim's revenge on the people who criticized Howell's Moving Folly on Abramoff, etc.

Posted by: Max Renn | March 27, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Please tell GW:
1. I love him. I know he *made* Dave Barry and I don't believe any of the things that man has said about him over the years. Including the stupidest dog ever story.

2. BD didn't have to do any of that real time chatting. The dude only had to write a few columns. Didn't he close his comments even? I suppose I could go look but I'm too lazy.

Posted by: Kate R | March 27, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

and when I say he made Dave Barry? I mean created. Not that modern internet bloggy male meaning of "made".

As the general JC Christian says, I'm sure he's 110% heterosexual.

Posted by: Kate again | March 27, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

You are not welcome here.

Oh, wait. I thought for a moment that I was Erick Woods-Erickson and that this was RedState. Never mind.

Posted by: zudz | March 27, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

phantoms...


if one wants to nail the stalking maneater it's important to look somewhat goatlike...


and to appear helpless...


what you see as a liberal poster is actually your worst nightmare...


someone that wants to eat you, all at once..

come closer.

.

Posted by: creating in sipidtea as a way of mesmerizing | March 27, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

the monsters, I eat the monsters

not the squirrels...


like the Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte movie 48 Hours...

your worst nightmare "a niger with a badge"


I hate smarmy people, they think that "giving themselves up" is the same thing as being nice,

they're the ones that always have a guru that they point to, as being representative of what they're really like...

like osho, with his 14 rolls royces...


giving yourselves up was what the Roman interpretation of the message of Jesus of Nazareth...


the Romans wanted you to give yourselves up to them as they stole your land...

like your president,


I suggest that you might want to quit being _so nice_ and actually be honest.

.

Posted by: no, not you stupid... | March 27, 2006 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I weighed in with my own comments in my Assclowns of the Week (Ben took #7. Perhaps if his plagiarism was a little rampant, he would've elevated closer to the top half, bumping off King George and the FBI). It's at http://falafelsex.blogspot.com.

Ben might've made only #7 but it's the longest entry out of the ten.

JP
http://jurassicpork.blogspot.com

Posted by: jurassicpork | March 27, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

tseliot,

"In yonder Washington there lies a wingnut slain"

made my day. Not because I like the idea of slain wingnuts, just the sheer beauty of the cadence.

Posted by: Travis | March 27, 2006 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, hell finally someone has the nads to say it. Looks like you'll be lookin for another position soon, Joel.

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