Shaggy Catfish Story


To what lengths will venal U.S. politicians go to subsidize American farmers, punish consumers, and keep poor Third World countries poor? Why, they will redefine the word "catfish," just for starters.


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  1. That depends on your definition of “poor”. And “fish”. And “politician”. And “U.S.”. And “vegetable”. And “and”.

    So nyah.

  2. Why does NYT require registration? Keep the readers more honest than the reporters?

  3. And “venal.” That is not an appropriate word in this case. The politicians in question are responding to their constituents; what is lacking is politicians on the other side pointing out the damage done by this kind of ad hoc protectionism.

    Actually, that isn’t quite true — people concerned about the disproportionate damage to our relations with Vietnam, like John McCain, and those who habitually take a hard line for free trade in agriculture, like Richard Lugar, are on the other side. During the Reagan administration USDA and USTR would have been on the other side as well, but Bush is not Reagan.

  4. Who’s the most reliable free trade candidate? Kerry? Dean? Lieberman? HRC?

    It’s not Bush.

  5. Speaking of venal politicians:

    Oh, did I say “venal?” Because I meant “moronic.”

  6. Phil, that has to be the weakest accusation of racism I’ve ever seen. Reading racial animosity into that letter makes Michael Jackson’s “very, very, very devilish” comment seem like a Martin Luther King speech.

    I’d take Ms. O’Connor seriously, but that would be insulting her intelligence.

  7. Tadpoles are baby frogs.

  8. A blast from the past:

    When the British start losing their own game is when they start changing the rules.

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