Two this and a that.

When I was in St. Louis, I stayed with my friends Vahe and Cindy, whom I know through my journalism fellowship, back in the dark ages. Both work for the Post-Dispatch, and Vahe is recently returned from the Beijing Olympics. He said our fellow Fellow Adi Gold, who is Israeli, had sent him a story from a Tel Aviv newspaper after Michael Phelps won his second gold medal. That was the relay, if you recall, the squeaker won in its last leg by Jason Lezak. The headline, Adi said, translated to “Two Jews and a black man help Phelps to a gold medal.”

In the great tradition of sleep-deprived people everywhere, “two Jews and a black man” became the week’s punchline for a segment of the press room, Vahe said, culminating in the inevitable “two Jews and a black man walk into a bar.” (I don’t even know if it’s true. I’ll take their word on Lezak, but “Garrett Weber-Gale” doesn’t exactly sound like Abe Rosenberg. Whatever.) So let’s keep the dream alive, eh?

Two Jews and a black man would agree with me that the Wall Street bailout is a raw deal for taxpayers. I’m tired; I blame the midnight interruptions of two Jew and a black man, carousing under my bedroom window. Let’s try that new restaurant tonight, what’s it called? Oh yeah: Two Jews and a Black Man. It’s fusion cuisine.

Anyway. I really am tired this morning, and have no one to blame but myself, but I’m going to the gym come hell or high water, so not much from me this morning. You people seem to have a talent for carrying on with or without a bartender. Just a little bloggage:

You’ve probably seen the gossip stories about the “Brazilian supermodel” who had a fling with young John McCain on a steamy weekend in Rio 51 years ago. I call your attention to the photo of the paramour in her younger days, which today would be reason for any self-respecting modeling agency to throw her out on her padded ass. However, I’m reminded of a story about body image in Brazil that ran in the NYT a while back, which related the original lyrics to “The Girl from Ipanema.” There’s a verse in there about the roundness of her bottom, which translates to “more than a poem, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” I’m sure two Jews and a black man would agree.

Finally: Hey, Henry Paulson! Why not buy my shitpile?

Back later, or maybe not until tomorrow. Depends.

Posted at 9:36 am in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

34 responses to “Two this and a that.”

  1. john c said on September 23, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I love the line … “he was tasty, loving and romantic.”

    And you remind me of and old joke … A priest a rabbi and a minister walk into the bar. Bartender says: “Is this some kind of joke?”

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  2. Jason T. said on September 23, 2008 at 10:18 am

    That Tel Aviv newspaper was just trying to make the story more “relevant” and “relate-able” to its readers, in the great tradition of newspapers everywhere.

    Remember the Dacron, Ohio, Democrat-Republican’s famous front page:

    Japan Destroyed


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  3. Kirk said on September 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

    From previous thread: Muchas gracias, Caliban and Brian, for the links to songza and fivethirtyeight.

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  4. brian stouder said on September 23, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Kirk – the Newsweek article that Jolene linked, about the guy who does the fivethirtyeight site is also quite good; I was a little worried that the alluring numbers and analysis there (if you like Obama) comes from a fellow with his thumb on the scales….but the Fineman article reassured me that this statistical cruncher is a real-live honest geek, who was pretty much correct all through the primaries.

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  5. moe99 said on September 23, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Off to Lake Chelan in E. Wash. to give a presentation to a bunch of folks on taking testimony during a deposition. Look forward to lots of reading matter from y’all when I return late tomorrow.

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  6. brian stouder said on September 23, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I thought east Washington was a desert. Or, is this one of those dry lakes?

    Anyway – here’s wishing you well, as you depose

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  7. Jolene said on September 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Brian, while looking up something else, I came across this article about Obama, which I thought you might like. Not a propos of anything in particular, but an interesting view of him.

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  8. LAMary said on September 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Depends on where you are in east Washington, Brian. The northern part is very green. It isn’t wet like the west coast, but it’s mountainous and forested. Think eastern Idaho.

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  9. alex said on September 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I think they heard that Brazilian lady wrong through her thick accent.

    “He was testy, nothing but a damn prick.”

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  10. beb said on September 23, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    McCain had a fling also older than I am? Man, that’s old.

    Interestingly — about McCain — is that a number of bloggers seem to be talkng today about his medical report, shown to the press a while back. Some one mentioned that a 1000 pages is a lot of records, suggesting that McCain is iller than we think.

    Also mentioned was how he only allowed the press to paw through them for three hours and didn’t let them keep copies. — As if he had something to hide.

    And then there’s the comment that melomonas involving removing of the lymph nodes is regarded as type 3 or 4, whereas McCain only admits to type 2.

    And that, in turn, suggests that McCain should have a CAT scan to rule out any tumors that might have lodged in his brain.

    Because, you know, McCain makes a lot of mistakes these days. Confusing the Army with the Alaskan National Guard, Spain for South America, Sunni from Shiti and what were our troop levels before and during the Surge.

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  11. brian stouder said on September 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Confusing the Army with the Alaskan National Guard, Spain for South America, Sunni from Shia and what were our troop levels before and during the Surge

    …Whether the economy is fundementally strong or in serious difficulty; whether bailing out AIG is something we should never do, or something we simply had to do; whether ‘golden parachutes’ are an abuse that must be done away with, or are legitmate compensation devices (especially for top McCain campaign aides); whether Washington Lobbiests/earmarks/gov regulation are the scourges of the nation, or indispensible parts of the McCain campaign (and members thereof) and style of government; whether snap answers or thoughtful contemplation = effective leadership… .

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  12. Marie said on September 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Off topic, but I think we should lift our virtual beers (or real ones) in memory of Jim:

    who seems as though he would have fit right in here.

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  13. Gasman said on September 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I saw this WaPo article and it made me think that maybe there should be a McCain-vs.-Palin debate:

    If there is one person I do not trust to understand or even acknowledge science, it would be Sarah Palin. She seems to suffer from the delusion that all you need to do to refute scientific findings is to say “I disagree” and the matter is over. She presents no findings to the contrary and she does not find fault with how the initial findings were arrived at, she just thinks she knows better. It is not surprising that she would want to teach creationism as an alternate “science” curriculum.

    Clearly another indication of the amount of time the McCain campaign spent vetting Palin.

    Possibly even more troubling was the way she lied about the Alaska state findings regarding whether or not polar bears should be listed as endangered. This does not bode well for the country if she is elected VP. If she is so competent and she knows right from wrong, why does she find it necessary to lie to advance her policies?

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Re: Bailout — i’d rather see ’em buy equity stakes, and sell those later, with leverage over management the old fashioned way. Not sure i like almost any element of the plan, insofar as i get it, but i liked this in my inbox:

    Your Urgent Help Needed

    Dear American:

    I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

    I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

    I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

    This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

    Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the

    Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

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  15. joodyb said on September 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    it’s not the out-and-out lying (she’s not even a good liar!) but the confidence with which she does it, leading mums and aunties to believe she ‘speaks so well,’ when in fact she doesn’t. (she should have spent a few less minutes trying to memorize how to pronounce Ahmadinejad and more time reading McCain’s white papers. then she would’ve really been confused!)
    it is so much more important to see someone who looks like you or the successful daughter you wish you’d had saying things you want to believe. meanwhile, someone has looted your pension and 401(k) and you have no idea how or why, and Meals on Wheels just lost its LGA fuel stipend so no more hot lunches for you.

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  16. joodyb said on September 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    jtmmo, that is HILARIOUS.

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  17. MichaelG said on September 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I dislike McCain as much as anybody here. I agree with most of what Caliban has to say with the exception of the constant carping about McCain’s being a criminal for conducting air strikes. I’m not trying to pretend there was anything heroic about it but it wasn’t criminal. I called in lots of air strikes while in Vietnam in the late ‘60’s. If he’s guilty, so am I.

    Also who gives a shit about his having a fling with a Brazilian bombshell when he was 21 or so. I’m more concerned with his cynical vote chasing (he’s making Joe Lieberman look honest) his constant lying and his complete lack of any grasp of things concerning domestic, foreign or economic policy.

    Alex, maybe she said “tasty” instead of “testy”.

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  18. Dexter said on September 23, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I’d buy a round for the press corps that is assigned to Palin…no news conferences AT ALL…only a couple scripted interviews, totally shutting the press out in an inexcusable isolation . Those journalists must be going crazy…what can they file as stories?

    Jesus…I remember when Evan Bayh was being labelled a “lightweight” when being considered as a possible HRC veep…Palin has gotten less heat.
    I cringe at ads featuring McCain saying he is going to clean up Wall Street and he can’t wait to unleash Palin onto Washington.
    I can’t find a link yet for the outstanding artwork in the new Rolling Stone that accompanies the latest Matt Taibbi story , but it’s great…Palin as a lipsticked pit bull….

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  19. john c said on September 23, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Off topic I know, but since I know Detroit’s beloved Mitch is a frequent subject here, I couldn’t resist pointing out a classic today.
    In case you missed it, Bill Ford Jr. came out and said he’d fire Lions GM Mat Millen. Trouble is junior doesn’t call the shots for the hapless team. The Old Man does. The gist of Mitch’s wisdom is that junior should have come out and said the Old Man should go. Then, like any good sports scribe, he lays out several very good reasons to defend his position.
    Classic Mitch emerges in graf 15. Two thirds of the way through a column in which he calls for a man to be fired, the Freep Franchise drops this bomb: ” I have never called for a man to be fired in this column and I won’t start now. Sports figures have dignity and families too, and if they’re gonna get the ax, they should hear it from the boss, not me.”
    It’s Mitchspeak, of course, for: “I’m not a jerk like all the rest.” But it is priceless. And someone should tell him that when a newspaper columnists writes that a manager or GM or owner should be fired, it doesn’t actually mean they are fired.
    Sorry, just a little rant there.

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  20. alex said on September 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Jeff, the bailout even strikes me as akin to the Nigerian e-mail scam. Saw a Carnegie Mellon prof on News Hour tonight named Meltzer who actually sounded pretty sensible. Offer the ailing institutions loans but with very stringent conditions regarding repayment and let them sort the mess out themselves. No need for Congress to micromanage businesses or set limits on executive pay. The shareholders who aren’t getting anything until the the companies right themselves and loan’s paid off will see to that.

    What Congress ought to be doing is seeing to it that debtors can refinance through the bankruptcy courts.

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  21. Deborah said on September 23, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Speaking of rants I just read something from another blog I read regularly – Talking Points Memo, that Kos from the Daily Kos found this statement from a white house spokesman:

    Kos comes across this remarkable admission from White House spokesperson Tony Fratto (emphasis mine):

    “With respect to executive pay, again, I’m not going to get into specific, point-by-point details on what our views are on that, other than the Secretary of Treasury said it would make [it] more difficult to make this plan work and effective if you provide disincentives for companies and firms out there who are holding mortgage-backed securities and other securities from participating in the program.”

    Jeez that makes my blood boil. Like these bastards won’t perform unless they have mega-incentives to do so. OK buster, how about jail time if they don’t perform. How’s that for an incentive. Just burns me up that they can milk the system dry and then try to get off scott free and compensated to the max.

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  22. coozledad said on September 23, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Deborah: I don’t know that our anger means anything. As long as we can be trusted to shop at Wal Mart.
    I’m actually kidding. It’s just going to take awhile before the bloody riots start, and they’ll disproportionately affect innocent people. They’ll haul out the cops to shoot rioters, the same way they did for the Bonus March, and the media will give the cops another pass, and they’ll anoint Petraeus king.

    And I keep kidding.

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  23. anonymous said on September 23, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Re: the restaurant Two Jews and a Black Man. I’m reminded of Dick Cavett’s patronage of a Jewish-Mexican place: Casa Hadassah.

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  24. Dexter said on September 24, 2008 at 12:29 am

    johnc…William Clay Ford loves Matt Millen and we are stuck with the dumb sonuvabitch forever.
    And who the hell is Aiken and who cares if he’s gay or whatever? I would guess he’s the Aiken who is a former idol?
    And…who knew vampires are gay?!! Alan Ball knew it, by god! I was gonna boycott the True Blood series but it has me smitten, if not bitten…yet!
    Alan Ball is a genius, no doubt.

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  25. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Well, I’ll be damned. George Will, usually a unbearably sanctimonious bloviating conservative apologist has opined that McCain’s campaign is, “characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence….”

    George Will! His best dig at McCain, however, came in the last paragraph:

    “It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?”

    Is Will endorsing Obama over McCain?

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  26. MarkH said on September 24, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Gas, you ought to know that McCain isn’t the conservatives’ candidate and they’re squirming at the notion of him being president. From Will to Limbaugh, as this campaign goes on, they’re having a harder time with it. And the selection of Palin isn’t helping in the rationalization. Makes it easy for Will to latch onto McCain’s temperment as just one reason to disavow him, but not endorsing Obama, in my view.

    moe, if you’re in eastern Washington looking for Lake Chelan, you better keep heading west. It’s in north(west) central Washington, long and narrow in the Wenatchee Mountains, seperating the Wenatchee and Okanogan National Forests. Beautiful; my daughter and her family live nearby in East Wenatchee. But, then, a lot of people think anywhere in the state east of Seattle is eastern Washington.

    Mary, pretty obscure reference to eastern Idaho as a comparison for Brian to pick up on. Maybe western? While they share obvious agricultural similarities, my neighbors across the Tetons at least, are on flatter ground than mountainous NE Wash. Brian, eastern Oregon is very much desert. Claude Dallas territory. You know, of course, that Idaho is the only state with three capitals: Boise, Idaho Falls and Spokane. Significant cultural differences; residents know what I’m talking about.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 24, 2008 at 7:22 am

    West Virginia — Wheeling, Morgantown, Huntington, Berkeley Springs, Beckley, Shepherstown . . . oh yeah, and Charleston. I moved from Ohio to West Virginia, and wasn’t expecting to feel so much like i’d gone to a larger state. Northern Panhandle, Pittsburgh south, Ohio River valley, southeast Appalachians, heart of the mountains, Eastern Panhandle . . . they’re so separate in cultural and practical and historic ways that Charleston’s left feeling like a county seat with a really big courthouse.

    Oh, and this seems pertinent for all of us —

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  28. alex said on September 24, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Interesting article, Jeff. The right’s extraordinary capacity for denial should serve it well when McCain and Palin falter at the podium in the coming days.

    Edit: Dowd is better than she’s been in years:

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  29. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 9:58 am

    MarkH, Pennsylvania has three capitals too: Philadelphia in the East, Pittsburgh in the West, and Harrisburg, the actual capital, in the middle.

    Good news in the new WaPo/ABC poll for Obama supporters. Only one poll and only one day, of course, but still nice to see.

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  30. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Also, an online slideshow/audio combo (Is there a word for that?) analyzing Sarah Palin’s experience in relation to that of other VPs in our history. At 12 minutes long, it’s a bit of a chore, but you get the idea after the first few minutes. Kind of fun to see the old pictures.

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  31. LAMary said on September 24, 2008 at 10:54 am

    MarkH, yes, I meant western Idaho. Sorry. I was thinking of the Coeur D’Alene/Spokane area and north of there. I was a camp follower of a geologist there one summer.

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  32. MarkH said on September 24, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Exactly, Mary!

    “…a camp follower of a geologist there one summer.” Gotta be a story there.

    Absolutely, Jolene. I’m a Pittsburgh native and my Philly native co-worker and I talk about those differences. occasionally.

    Marie, I hooted as well at Jim Adams’ obit when I saw it in the Casper paper last week. I think I’m one of five people in Jackson that actually reads Wyoming’s only real daily paper.

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  33. moe99 said on September 25, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Mark H: anything east of King County (which is the size of Rhode Island and holds Seattle in its grasp) and the Cascade Mountains is considered E. Washington, because this state only has two divides and it is geographic as well as political, since this region east of the Cascades has traditionally gone for Republicans. But on this trip, I saw not ONE sign for McCain although a number of Rossi signs (he’s the Repub. candidate for governor) and a large number of Obama signs and some Gregoire ones as well. And some Allen Martin signs which made me laugh, as he’s the Republican running against the ex.

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  34. brian stouder said on September 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    running against the ex.… who looks like a low-rent Clint Eastwood!

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