Friggatriskaidekaphobia (4/13/2007)

Graphic from page at the Sesame Street coloring book at PBS kids. The dapper fellow is Count von Count, who has his own entry at Wikepedia, as does Friday the 13th.

We’re 3 days from the new moon and it’s time to wish you

Happy Anfriggatriskaidekaphobia Day!

(Anparaskevidekatriaphobia if you’re anti-Wiccan or favor the unpronounceable)

There will be a second chance to celebrate in July. I increased my wordpower through the help of Dr. Robert T. Carroll (email replace AT with @) compiler of the Sceptic’s Dictionary. By the way, remember the wordpower quizzes in Reader’s Digest. Now you can play online. I just wasted an hour and I’m a high scorer! Unfortunately, I forgot to log in first, so I’m known as “Beth We.”

For those of us who are more superstitious, Eric Weisstein (mail–substitute @for (AT)) of Wolfram Math World, will advise you from whence commeth your heebie jeebies.

Dr. Don Dossey of Ashville, evidently the Dr. Phil of Phobias, will help you cure them. He even can do it on the telephone or via audio cassette. Dr. Don’s chat with the host of a NY radio program, according to Word Spy, seems to have inspired the first known use of “paraskevideketriaphobia,” although as two words, in a blurb announcing his appearance.

And for a readable rundown of some of the facts on the day, Dr. Dennis LaJeunesse (email), a biologist who specializes in fruit flies at UNC-G gave an amusing commencement address to his department’s grads on, you guessed it Friday, the 13th, of May 2005, which is recorded in Symbiosis, Volume 13, page 8.

*

Speaking of bad luck, environmentalists and progressives in general may be mulling over their prospects at the EPA today and wondering if Bush is up to more shenanigans with regards to nominations Alex A. Beehler and William Ludwig Wehrum, Jr., .

Like me, you may have read the LA Times story predicting the recess appointment of Susan Dudley, Beehler and Wehrum. I wondered what was going on with the latter two after Dudley’s appointment, along with that of Fox and Biggs on April 4. Although the nomination chart by name, lists Wehrum and Beehler as pending as of today, the White House Press Office announced the withdrawal of the nominations on April 11. Judy Pasternak (email) published an update on April 12, “Bush drops 2 nominees for environmental posts: William Wehrum and Alex Beehler had been opposed by Democrats. Recess appointments are still possible.” So far, the rest of the MSM has been asleep at the wheel, with the exception of the Baltimore Sun and Tacoma, WA News Tribune which truncated the LA Times story and the Washington Post, which failed to write its own story, but did run in full Reuters reporter Chris April 11 story, “White House pulls nomination to top EPA air post.” The latter failed to note the possibility remained of recess appointments.

Yup, the same as that of Swift Boat Sam “Foxy” Fox, whose recess appointment to be ambassador of Belgium has distracted some folks from the more ominous recess appointments of Dudley and Biggs. Matt Madia over at OMB Watch even coined a term yesterday–

Sam���Fox (sam foks’) vt. 1. To install by recess appointment shortly after pretending to be cooperative by withdrawing a nomination.

The press reported Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA)’s optimistic April 12 statement that the withdrawls were good news, but did not include her caveat:

I strongly urge President Bush to select new nominees for these vital positions who have the experience and expertise for their jobs, and who have demonstrated their commitment to protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our families and communities.

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And more in the bad luck department, although it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, Karl Rove and his and other missing emails have attracted the attention of public interest law firm Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), whose Executive Director Melanie Sloan wrote Patrick Fitzgerald today, asking that he reopen the investigation. Yesterday CREW released its report, “Without a Trace,” which documents the extent of the email problem. CREW maintains an archives and an open community document review database of FOIA-gained documents which can use volunteers to help in annotation.

CREW’s publication of the page emails, you may remember, precipitated the resignation of Mark Foley. Thus far Karl Rove has seemed immune to any repercussions from the exposure of his actions. Cameron Scott at the MoJo blog writes of CREW’s latest letter,

This is getting fun, isn’t it?

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Another case of woe befalling the baddies, is Public Citizen’s request that the Americans for Job Security lose their tax-exempt status. For more information on this anti-labor group, see the Sourcewatch article I just started.

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