Archive for Warn Mode Due

Strange search-engine queries (472)

If your next question is “Why does this feature appear on Monday?” the answer is that it serves as a reset to the week, a kick out of glorious weekend mode and a return to the drably usual and/or the usually drab. At least, that’s the excuse I’m using this week.

1986 mazda 626 tyre sizes:  Um, did it ever occur to you to look on one of your actual tyres? They don’t emboss all that stuff on the sidewall to look cool at motorway speeds.

“kim rollins” “first blog”:  At the moment, you stand a better chance of finding an autographed copy of the Gospel of Luke.

what most common CD4E part to fail:  The fluid, of course.

poynhvb:  Seventy points in Scrabble if you play it all at once.

car dealers have realized how profitable it can be to sell automobile using the web. pretend you work for a local car dealership that is part of a large chain such:  that it will consolidate all its franchises into a single superstore and let go half the staff. It was always such.

kc auto dealer girlfreinds sluts:  Okay, maybe not half the staff.

tpir gwendolyn osborne xxx:  Going to play Pocket Plinko, are you?

pulsating lights in 1999 Mazda 626:  I suppose it’s better than LEDs below the door frames.

warner brothers loss leader prices:  Then: two bucks. Now: the sky’s the limit.

nudist publications from the 1950s:  Then: five bucks. Now: the sky’s the limit.

pictures of all the limousines that belong to the Doobie Brothers:  They’re hidden behind the train station in China Grove.

modogams:  Well, you know, there are worse things in life than Maureen Dowd’s legs:

Somewhat stylized picture of Maureen Dowd

Although you kind of wonder what things would be like were they attached to somebody else.

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She should not feel so all alone

Previously declared by Nicole (and mentioned here):

Kids might still pick some up and eat them anyway (kids with no taste) but if an adult is fed these unbeknownst to them they are simply a dunderhead who has no sensory awareness at all.

Maureen Dowd, thy head is made of dunder:

The caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars I used to love as a child.

Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more. I figured if I was reporting on the social revolution rocking Colorado in January, the giddy culmination of pot Prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, edible pot from a local shop.

What could go wrong with a bite or two?

And then, of course, she found out:

As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.

It took all night before it began to wear off, distressingly slowly. The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.

(Via this tweet by HuffPo’s Sam Stein. Originally scheduled for 4:20, but moved up.)

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Sleeper unawake

Maureen Dowd, according to Doug Mataconis, is living in Aaron Sorkin’s fantasy universe:

Dowd has become enamored with the idealized New York-Washington corridor vision of politics epitomized by the movie she references in her column [The American President], and even more so by Sorkin’s classic television series The West Wing. According to this vision, the President is the all powerful leader of government who, with just a little bit of persuasion and a lot of political skill can bend Congress to his will. The problem is that this isn’t how American politics works, or at least not how it works in the real world. You can’t just solve problems by being a “strong leader” and giving nice speeches. If the political winds are blowing against you, then you’re not going to win. In the case of this gun control vote, the political winds were not blowing in Barack Obama’s favor, and that’s why he failed. Dowd’s dream that he could have been some fictional President that could enact the dream liberal agenda are just that, dreams and fantasies.

“But … but … 90 percent!”

Also a fantasy.

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A fountain troubled

Roxeanne de Luca contemplates her marital status, and reminds us that there are no guarantees in life:

[O]ne cannot always choose whether or not to find a great husband and to have a minivan full of children. We are not guaranteed such rewards, even if we choose the path that would likely lead us to such rewards. What we can do, however, is to be the type of woman whom a good man would want to marry, and would be proud to have as the mother of his children. If you do not end up with a huge, loving family (or a small, loving family, if two kids are about all you can handle), it shouldn’t be because you are a raging shrew whom men will sleep with but would never marry.

Perhaps fortunately for me, the vast majority of the unmarried women I know are not in fact raging shrews. Still, if you fancy yourself the very model of a modern-day Petruchio, be assured that Kate is out there:

I would (gently) suggest that Maureen Dowd is simply not the kind of person that any sane man would want to wake up next to every morning, and it’s not because she’s smart (which she may be, and can intimidate many men), or successful (ditto), but because she’s such a damn shrew.

So noted.

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What so Dowdly we hailed

It’s been a long time since we had any Maureen Dowd-related material here, but fortunately for me and my need to fill this space, the blogger known as Half Sigma, who has been reviewing the life stories of New York Times scribes of late, kicked off a discussion with this observation:

Yet despite her success, I sense in her a lack of happiness with her life that doesn’t occur with the daughters of more elite parents. The daughters of the elite somehow manage to get married and have children despite pursuing their careers. In contrast, Maureen’s writings seem to reek of bitterness about being an old maid. So even though she appears to be successful, she compares herself to the children of the elite whom she works with and somehow she feels they have something she’s missing. But instead of blaming the elites or her prole parents for her unhappiness, she blames men.

In case you missed it, I offered some thoughts on Are Men Necessary? here.

Half Sigma’s commenter “blah” suggests:

She probably played the field too long in her youth and she was most likely holding out for a rich alpha male. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out. So she complains about men who are intimidated by her (i.e. make less than her) and she snickers about the extra-marital affairs of rich alpha males in her columns. While she hates conservatives, I would wager she probably hates rich alpha males even more. This is where I disagree with HS. MoDo isn’t unhappy because she’s a striver but rather because she made some really foolish decisions in her dating life when she was at her peak in attractiveness. This woman was so unrealistic in her outlook that she thought she could land someone like Don Draper before she was a household name. And of course, when she became a household name, she was too old.

The trouble with landing someone like Don Draper, of course, is the risk of landing Don Draper.

I could say something here like “She’s only fifty-nine,” but that might seem somewhat self-serving.

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The operative word is “repellent”

There’s N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, and there’s your New York Times columnist. March Madness-wise, at least, Smitty prefers the latter:

Screen shot - Thomas Friedman beats OFF

Efforts to get Maureen Dowd to show us her DEET have so far proven unfruitful.

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Are X-Men necessary?

The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen DowdFor many years, superheroines in comics have been drawn to a very specific type: long flingable hair, legs to die for, and a balcony from which you could presumably do Shakespeare. (Even Susan Storm conformed to this look, and she was just an outline much of the time, for Pete’s Reed’s sake.) They don’t tend to be fiftysomething, and they definitely don’t tend to be columnists for The New York Times.

Benjamin Marra, seeing a need no one else saw, has now come up with The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd, subtitled A Work of Satire and Fiction just in case you didn’t get the point. In Issue #1, MoDo is about to blow the lid off the conspirators who exposed a CIA agent (yes, that CIA agent), but two individuals stand in her way: a masked marauder who stole her laptop, and, um, George Clooney.

I may have to get this — it’s three bucks from publisher Traditional Comics — just on general principle. Marra has drawn Dowd as, yes, pretty much the traditional superheroine, albeit a tad past her prime; I will not speculate as to whether she actually looks that good in lingerie. (At least, not here.)

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Strange search-engine queries (213)

This weekly feature contains the least-unfunny items from seven days’ worth of search strings leading to this very site; in its only world competition, it took the tin medal.

time compressed movies:  For instance: 1620: A Space Odyssey.

female clothing optional birthdays:  If you can persuade them so, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

insanity nekkid:  Aw, give her a break. It’s her birthday.

Application “Who has seen your profile?” is unavailable:  Perhaps someone was looking at your profile at the time.

what was the name of the country where the sun doesn’t go down:  I dunno, but I bet it’s on the warm side of Mercury.

penis football field:  If he even starts to compare his to one, he lies.

i’m reputedly intelligent:  You’re seeking corroboration, then?

do any rockstars have a prince albert piercing:  I dare say, this question is above my pay grade.

hysterectomy sling anal sex:  And they say I have no patience.

how can i ease my mind the day before an HIV test?  If it’s any consolation, this isn’t the kind of test you have to cram for.

who is more attractive judith miller or maureen dowd:  You tell me:

Judith Miller and Maureen Dowd

Obligatory Rule 34 item: gay sex with old men scholl sandals.

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Upward shacking

The split between Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins gave me only the briefest glance at “OMG she’s available again!” before reality snapped that particular window shut. Besides, the unfortunate interaction of my sporadic fondness for insane redheads and the all-too-persistent impairment of my libido means I’m far better suited to the likes of Maureen Dowd, and despite her manifest charms I really don’t need to be associated with someone so easily fisked.

But this observation from Dave on the Sarandon/Robbins rift keeps coming back to me:

One has to wonder if any couple from Hollywood can survive.

Well, Tim and Susan did stay together for 21 years, which is far longer than any of my liaisons lasted, but still a bit short of “till death us do part.” Of course, they never took the vows, in deference to that old platitude of how it’s just a piece of paper, y’know, and how does that count for anything?

So I contemplated my own perhaps-stereotypical view of the Hollywood mindset, which goes something like this: “Does showbiz turn people into asshats, or do asshats naturally gravitate toward showbiz?” The contemporary fusion of celebrity and politics would seem to suggest the latter: Hollywood has only so many job openings, but there’s a growing surplus of buttock berets, and they have to go somewhere. And really, if you have two practicing hemorrhoidal Homburgs in one household, the potential for conflict is doubled, maybe even quadrupled.

Still, Tinseltown’s breakup rate doesn’t seem all that different from Tulsa’s, so there’s got to be some other factor at work besides mere rectal millinery, and I suspect it’s simply this: we’ve gotten used to the idea of No Consequences, that commitments can be exited as easily as they are entered, that anything making us unhappy must be discarded at once for the sake of our self-esteem. Discomfort is to be avoided at all cost. Cue Woody Allen:

Annie Hall: Sometimes I ask myself how I’d stand up under torture.

Alvy Singer: You? You kiddin’? If the Gestapo would take away your Bloomingdale’s charge card, you’d tell ’em everything.

Not that this gives me any leave to pretend to be superior.

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The parties: over

The Cheneys, according to Maureen Dowd, regard “bipartisanship with the same contempt as multiculturalism and multilateralism.”

I haven’t written a great deal on multiculturalism, and pretty much nothing I can recall on multilateralism, but I can tell you right up front what I think of bipartisanship: it’s, you guessed it, contemptible.

And, from the archives, way back in 1997, here’s why:

Unspoken, but certainly implied by your favorite politico, is the notion that if both Democrats and Republicans can come to this particular agreement, it must therefore be a Good Thing. And farther down in the subtext is the notion that those two particular parties somehow manage to subsume the whole of American political belief; you got your Democrats, you got your Republicans, and what’s left isn’t worth a bucket of John Nance Garner’s bodily fluids. As any registered Libertarian will tell you — in those states where the bipartisan efforts of Republicans and Democrats have somehow failed to make it impossible actually to be a registered Libertarian — this is a crock.

Not that the L-word necessarily applies to me, with or without capitalization. Nor do any of these, specifically:

Add to the neither-first-nor-second-party political landscape the Perotistas, the wackos too conservative for the GOP, the few remaining card-carrying leftists, a large body of putatively-disaffected professional grumblers, and a far larger body of nonvoting cynics, and what you have is a repudiation of all that “bipartisan” stands for.

Clearly I’m disaffected, but no one is going to pay me to grumble. And if you want something that snarls at multiculturalism, try this.

(Via Ron Radosh.)

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You’re not the base of me

Advice to women, from Michele Catalano:

You are not your job, your kids, your husband. You should not be defined by any of those things. Any woman who identifies herself as a mother, wife, or lawyer puts herself in a position to be unhappy because she is not living for herself. I’m not saying women should lead utterly self-centered lives. I am saying that we should define ourselves as more than the things we do that involve other people.

It occurs to me that while women dwell on this issue more than men, and Maureen Dowd seemingly more than anyone, the same basic premise is applicable on my side of the aisle. It seems to torment us less, though, and I attribute this to the ease with which we pigeonhole every aspect of our being: this goes here, that goes there, and none of it is quite big enough to jar us out of our cheerful complacency. (Well, sometimes it is, but we can’t stand that. At all.)

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One might almost call it a monologue

The McCain Institute for Advanced Vaginology announces: Know Your Vajayjay: An Expert Guide to What’s Up Down There.

All it lacks is an endorsement from Maureen Dowd, and clearly that’s just a matter of time.

I demur, though, on the V-word itself. “Vajayjay” is as uneuphonious a word as exists today; I’d almost rather hear one of the four-letter terms — no, not that one — instead.

Then again, my none-too-extensive experience with owners of same suggests that the preferred term is simply “there” (cf. The Tubes, “Don’t Touch Me There”).

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The dorks of perception

Back in the day, to use an idiom that would never have been tolerated back in the day, we had reporters: scrappy fellows who knew every trick in the book, every source in the back alley, every button to push to get past the predilections of that one particular editor.

There are still a few such out there — I’ve seen some locally, even — but the national scene is dominated, not by reporters, but by journalists, who, says Stacy McCain, are a different breed entirely:

To be a journalist in Washington is to live one’s life surrounded by men who have never driven 110 mph, never spent a night in jail, and never won a fight in their lives.

The upper echelons of American journalism have become the exclusive monopoly of former teacher’s pets, who as children were never sent to the principal’s office, who as teenagers were never suspended for showing up drunk for chemistry class, who as college students never woke up at 6:30 a.m. on the porch of the ATO house, who never played in a rock band or sold a pound of weed or dove from a 50-foot cliff into an abandoned rock quarry.

Washington journalism is like some kind of perverse alternative reality where the Beta males are dominant.

And the process, I submit, becomes self-reinforcing after a while, once said Betas discover, to their amazement, that no one is going to challenge them on anything serious: you can lift stuff other people have written, you can even make stuff up, and nobody will say a word. In an atmosphere like this, even Maureen Dowd can get dates. (We will say no more about my semi-legendary Dowd fixation.)

What’s dangerous about this, I think, is not so much the idea that dorkiness is gaining a measure of cultural acceptability — hell, I’d benefit from that sort of thing — but the underside of that card, the enshrinement of passive-aggressive behavior as the preferred method of getting things done. For instance, almost the entire Federal bureaucracy now operates on the premise that the states will swallow blatant violations of the Tenth Amendment if they fear the loss of funding; to your Washington journalist, this is simply The Way Things Ought To Be, and it will never occur to him to question it. The idea of reducing the size and scope of government? Not even on the table: like Governor Le Petomane, they worry first about protecting their phoney-baloney jobs.

A local TV station uses the slogan “Making A Difference” in their news promotions. Since basically they’re vending the same tired non-stories as their competitors, I have to assume this is intended as motivation for the journalists on staff. The actual reporters on staff don’t pay any attention: they have stories to file. And television’s All Glory to the Anchor setting makes the people doing the scut work into the equivalent of Star Trek redshirts: if you see one, better get the video snapshot, because you may never see him again.

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Spring chickens notably absent

Maureen Dowd’s grumbling about the selection of Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat prompted this retort from Don Surber:

Sen. Gillibrand’s major crime seems to be that she is 15 years younger and better looking than Miss Dowd. The biggest obstacle a woman faces in seeking a high office is other women.

“Fifteen years younger” is certainly close enough — it’s about a month short of that — and I don’t doubt for a moment that women who seek to break through the glass ceiling will discover all manner of female glaziers reinforcing the barrier.

But as for “better-looking,” I am not convinced:

Kirsten Gillibrand and Maureen Dowd

If that shot of MoDo (undated, though it’s from her Wikipedia page) strikes you as insufficiently unflattering, you might try these, from the summer of ’06.

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Flattering with delicacy

Which is not what Maureen Dowd does here:

If Obama is Mr. Darcy, with “his pride, his abominable pride,” then America is Elizabeth Bennet, spirited, playful, democratic, financially strained, and caught up in certain prejudices. (McCain must be cast as Wickham, the rival for Elizabeth’s affections, the engaging military scamp who casts false aspersions on Darcy’s character.)

Miss Bennet’s strain is as nothing compared to the strain of Miss Dowd’s attempt at metaphor. And it gets worse:

In this political version of Pride and Prejudice, the prejudice is racial, with only 31 percent of white voters telling The New York Times in a survey that they had a favorable opinion of Obama, compared with 83 percent of blacks.

And the prejudice is visceral: many Americans, especially blue collar, still feel uneasy about the Senate’s exotic shooting star, and he is surrounded by a miasma of ill-founded and mistaken premises.

So the novelistic tension of the 2008 race is this: Can Obama overcome his pride and Hyde Park hauteur and win America over?

I point out merely this: “Nothing is more deceitful … than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”

(Via Robert Stacy McCain.)

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Nope, no stereotypes here

Howell Raines, disgraced former executive editor of The New York Times, hailed from Alabama; it’s at least slightly possible that he would have known better.

But Raines is gone, and now the Times is advertising for a stringer for its Southern bureau (which covers eight states), just like this:

Serious applicants should email a short cover letter, resume and five story ideas that demonstrate a clear understanding of the Times’s national desk and Southern coverage to [name and address redacted].

Story ideas should be crafted as actual pitches and should go beyond topics or angles that the Times has already addressed. Please do not submit ideas concerning dog fights, cock fights, or the Confederate flag.

Personally, I think the Times should send Maureen Dowd to Darlington to decipher the mysteries of NASCAR, but then I’m not a high-flying media expert.

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No hard feelings, evidently

Maureen Dowd came down with some wretched disease while covering Dubya’s Middle East jaunt, and who comes to her aid? Why, the White House, of course:

Presidential aides, including press secretary Dana Perino, made clear early on that Dowd could see Dr. Richard J. Tubb, the Air Force brigadier general who oversees the White House medical office and takes care of the president at home and abroad.

But Dowd declined. With no medication, she tried to soldier on by grabbing whatever rest she could in her hotel room — not easy to do in a trip of constant movements. By the time the presidential entourage moved to Bahrain from Kuwait on Saturday, she felt even worse. She was so sick, in fact, that she could not write her regular Sunday column.

Dowd finally decided to take up the White House on its offer.

So she gets to see Dr. Tubb, and:

Tubb gave her a few tablets of Cipro and some Pepto-Bismol and told her to check back with him the next day. She turned down Tubb’s offer of an IV (so there was no chance of an “accidental” poisoning, she joked).

“He was wonderful — just really sweet,” Dowd said in an interview Tuesday afternoon in the press filing center in Riyadh, where she appeared to be on the mend and said she was feeling much better.

But it wasn’t over:

On Sunday, when [the] entourage flew from Bahrain to the United Arab Emirates, Dowd was supposed to be flying on the press charter, without access to Tubb. But the White House made room for her aboard Air Force One, where she visited the doctor once again in his office near the president’s.

“I was thinking that if I ran into Bush, I would have to apologize for it not being a fatal disease,” Dowd said. “He was very generous to share his doctor — even if he didn’t know it.”

Dowd said Tubb and the rest of the White House staff who helped her were “fantastic” — and nobody complained about her columns.

Good on ya, Doc. And Maureen, you get well real soon, y’hear?

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Can’t even give it away

Once upon a time, Alex Massie once asserted that “Maureen Dowd really, really can’t write.” Since then — well, read it for yourself:

Is it unkind to suggest that were she to hand her columns, unsigned, to the editor of a minor magazine at any of the nation’s lesser provincial universities they would be deemed unpublishable? One need make no great claims for oneself to suggest that the pages of the New York Times could be filled with better stuff than this.

I mean, all newspapers print loopy nonsense a lot of the time. There’s too much space to fill for this not to be true. But there is loopyness that, however barkingly, is trying to make a point and there’s loopyness that rambles on without ever threatening to hit upon an argument, let alone blunder into anything so recherche as an insight.

I thought that was my department. Then again, no one is charging you to read me:

Putting Dowd behind a subscription wall remains both … a demonstration of a complete lack of business acumen and an extraordinary act of charity.

(Yeah, Snitch, I know, I know. I don’t have a quota or anything, but once in a while I feel the urge, as it were.)

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In defense of John McCain

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Holding up the Speaker

Around the first of the year, someone put in a search-engine query for “nancy pelosi leg photos,” to which I responded with a comment to the effect that nobody ever asked for anything like that from Dennis Hastert. What the searcher was led to was Vent #398, “Dressed for the party,” in which I scanned some photos from Harper’s Bazaar that accompanied a goofy piece by Maureen Dowd (who else?) on the dodgy subject of whether Democrats or Republicans dress “better,” in the Bazaar sense of course. On the basis of evidence presented, I declared a draw.

In the “competition,” Pelosi was matched up against then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and I said this:

Two cases of, if not wardrobe malfunction, certainly misjudgment. Condi’s white blouse, black jacket and belted trousers qualify as conservative, perhaps even self-effacing. Nancy’s in a summery red California two-piece suit that pushes her waistline higher than it should and ends far enough below the knee to make her look more bottom-heavy than she might like.

Had Rice shown up that day in this dress, I suspect my judgment might have differed just a little — though Pelosi too has come off better recently.

Maybe I just need a new scanner.

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This is not the origin of the word “dowdy”

Maureen Dowd with Tim Russert

Then again, if glam doesn’t work, what’s the fallback position? Right.

(Via Gawker, where the following comment was posted: “MoDo — the high school librarian called … she wants her outfit back …” I don’t remember seeing anything like this, but then I went to a Catholic school.)

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The Grey Lady and the children

Byron (his friends call him Barney) Calame is the “public editor” of The New York Times, the second such since the position was established in 2003, and he may be the last:

“Over the next couple of months, as Barney’s term enters the home stretch, I’ll be taking soundings from the staff, talking it over with the masthead, and consulting with Arthur,” meaning publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., wrote Bill Keller, The Times’ executive editor, in an e-mail to The Observer.

Mr. Keller wrote in his e-mail that “some of my colleagues believe the greater accessibility afforded by features like ‘Talk to the Newsroom’ has diminished the need for an autonomous ombudsman, or at least has opened the way for a somewhat different definition of the job.”

Daniel Okrent, first Times public editor, said he “would be disappointed to see [the position] eliminated.”

This detail in the Observer piece caught Brendan Nyhan’s eye:

Mr. Okrent was a sharp critic who raised hackles and then won respect during his 18-month term. In contrast, Mr. Calame has been a bit more like that other Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur — and not entirely unlike Snuffleupagus, the once-invisible creature of Sesame Street. The readers were Big Bird, and we could see and hear him — but did he exist to anyone inside The Times?

To which Nyhan responds:

[T]his is a whole new style of media criticism. Coming next week: Is Maureen Dowd more like Miss Piggy or Dora the Explorer?

Short answer: yes.

Actually, I think Maureen Dowd is the secret child of Disney’s Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, and whatever Type A personality traits she may have inherited from Kim are offset by Ron’s intractable B-ness. Besides, Ron is sweet and goofy, and God forbid Maureen should ever show such a side.

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Ellipsis sweet as candy

Dawn Eden talks to the Washington Times, and there are … rather a lot of … apparent … gaps.

Since she isn’t disowning the Times interview, I assume that the points she made were not affected by the nefarious practice of Dowdification.

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