A final busy day in a very busy week means today’s entry is all caffeine and bloggage. Caffeine and bloggage, people! I know you’ll be OK with it, because when it comes to a discussion, you folks rock the house. I thought yesterday’s comment thread was tremendous, by the way; thanks to all who contributed. Besides, we have ourselves plenty to talk about today:
OID: Tow truck driver spots what he thinks is an abandoned car, calls police and waits for permission to hook it. Permission never comes. So he calls 911 with the same information, waits two hours, no one shows up. Then:
Two weeks later, on Jan. 24, after several calls from neighbors, a police officer finally came to the site. Inside the SUV, the officer found the body of James Mullen of Oak Park, riddled with bullets.
Well, good thing it’s winter.
I can’t tell you how often I read stories like this in the paper. Later on, a deputy chief describes the situation as “confusing.” I’ll say. So many unanswered questions. Were the windows tinted? Was the corpse in the driver’s seat, or stowed in the cargo area? Where, exactly, was the car parked? The story was based on testimony offered at a Board of Police Commissioners hearing, and I guess no one asked.
Some of you got to this yesterday, but I’m just now reading about $P’s comment about the “Sputnik moment” passage in the SOTU speech, and I’m, well, speechless. Combined with Michele Bachmann’s retelling of our founders’ commitment to diversity, I’m wondering if this particular wing of the right-wing dog-and-pony show isn’t some sort of performance art piece. Nothing else explains it.
We won’t have Mike Pence to kick around, come primary season. Alas, Hoosiers, you’ll still be stuck with him.
First Tunisia, now Egypt. I have nothing to contribute to this discussion, other than to recall a story from the dark ages of journalism, when second-tier diplomats would make the rounds of newspaper editorial boards, for coffee and discussion about foreign policy, with an eye toward guiding the opinion-mongers in their opinion-making. I know — crazy, right? Anyway, if the diplomat was important enough, and there was a chance he’d say something newsworthy, sometimes a reporter was invited to sit in, because hey, you can’t ask an editorial writer to do a news story. It’s beneath their dignity. This was in Columbus, by the way.
So one day some Israeli undersecretary stops by, and my colleague Ted draws the reporting duty. The discussion was about negotiations with Egypt. Anwar Sadat had just been assassinated, and succeeded by someone named Hosni Mubarak. The editor of the paper, a twinkly pipe-smoking gent already coasting toward retirement, had a question for the diplomat.
“What about this McBurke? Can he bring peace?”
The Israeli blinked a time or two, trying to remember when the Egyptians had installed a Scotsman in the president’s office. “What? Who?”
“McBurke,” the editor pressed. “The new president.”
But the diplomat was diplomatic. “Oh, you’re speaking of Mr. Mubarak,” he said, and the moment passed, but Ted told us all about it. All the young people, whose brains had not yet started farting at inappropriate moments, got a good laugh out of it. This was when Bob and Doug McKenzie were doing their “Great White North” routine all over, and so we decided the Egyptian Scot’s first name should be “Hoser” and ever since, I’ve thought of the president of Egypt as Hoser McBurke. The other day I heard a statistic that half the Egyptian population had never known another president.
Boy, do I feel old.
Have a great weekend, all.