Sorry, but it's hard to get readers' attention on this crowded blogosphere we call home.
I have never watched American Idol. What is it?
There are many things it is a matter of honor not to know about.
A Talking Points reader asked: Does Tony Snow have to quit his job at Fox to become White House press secretary, or can it be a joint appointment?
Or as Andy Borowitz has it: "FOX NEWS-WHITE HOUSE MERGER COMPLETED; Bill O'Reilly Named Secretary of Defense"
BTW, Snow [now] says he regrets criticizing Bush. May this serve as an inspiring example for all of us Bush-haters. It's not too late to repent of our folly and our sins and redeem ourselves in the eyes of the Lord.
"Iran threatens to strike at US targets if attacked," Reuters reports. Those murderous monsters! Just proves we must attack them.
War Room noted last week that as the Democrats "seize on the price at the pump as proof of Bush's failings, you can expect to hear a lot of talk about how the president doesn't really have much control over gas prices." (As we have in fact since heard; all we can really do, Bush explained, is give more tax breaks to oil companies, open ANWR to drilling, and hope for the best...)
But that's not the story Bush told when he was running for office back in 1999. Then, he took Bill Clinton to task for not doing more about gas prices, and he said it was incumbent upon the president of the United States to "pick up the phone and jawbone OPEC leaders so they will open up the spigot." Is Bush taking his own advice? It sure doesn't look like it. Scott McClellan was asked earlier this week whether the White House is "urging OPEC nations" or other oil-producing countries to "increase output or do anything to relieve" prices. His answer began with comments about the increased demand for gasoline in China and India, and moved farther away from the question after that.
Think Progress noted that in 2002, the White House said "regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil" and drive prices down. "Crude oil was going for about $29 a barrel when Congress approved the use-of-force resolution for Iraq in October 2002. It hit $73 a barrel earlier today."
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In a shop today I saw a pair of gloves made of chain mail. The medieval knight's favorite fashion statement? Mesh of tiny interlinked metal rings? ... No, Renee, it wasn't some S&M sex shop. These gloves, which came from Germany, were advertised as ideal for work like meat cutting and opening oyster and clam shells and the like.
Well, I couldn't stop thinking about how chain mail was made. Was there any way other than for each tiny hoop to be hooked into place, then squeezed closed, ring by ring, by hand? Well, I'm not one to just speculate idly--especially not when I see a potential career opportunity. I looked it up.
The Good Book--Wikipedia--tells us that through the Middle Ages, mail was typically made of solid rings--punched from a sheet of wrought iron--alternating and interlocking with split rings that were then riveted shut. Nowadays, suits and other articles of mail worn by mad reenactors and fashion trendsetters and by scuba divers as protection against the bane of every underwater picnic, shark bite, "are handmade from rings of wire [which] may or may not be welded or soldered [shut]. They may also be made of split sprung steel washers. Usually two pairs of pliers are used to bend the washers open and closed while 'knitting' the mail. Many makers may have an apprentice, or in a more modern term, a ringmonkey, to pre-open or close rings for faster and easier weaving....Protective mail for industrial or other practical applications is knit and welded by machine from wire."
(Of course, machine-knit mail just can't compare with the handmade article for beauty, softness, warmth, and sword-, mace-, and battle-axe-resistance. And when ordering, remember: "A shirt made from mail is called a hauberk or byrnie, if knee-length; haubergeon if waist-length. Mail leggings are called chausses, mail hoods coif and mail mittens mitons. A mail collar hanging from a helmet is camail or aventail. A mail collar worn strapped around the neck was called a pixane or standard." As in, "That's a lovely pixane...and it goes so well with your hauberk!")
As the Right turns the policy and ideas clock back to before the Great Society, to before the New Deal, the Progressive Era, Darwin, the Enlightenment, and, inevitably, Copernicus, I predict a return to chain mail as everyday wear, and with it, a burgeoning demand for ringmonkeys. America must begin
retraining untraining our workers, scrapping our minimum wage and other outdated labor laws, and reforming our immigration policies now if we are to keep these good, thirty-cents-a-day, no-benefits jobs at home, and avoid losing yet another industry to foreign manufacturers.*
*(Just angling for a job at the Wall Street Journal.)