In the beginning, there was milk chocolate, and mankind saw that it was good.

Then came dark chocolate, and mankind saw that it was also good.

And then came premium high cacao dark chocolate, high in flavinoids, and mankind saw that not only was it good, it was healthy.

Finally, there came single origin premium chocolate, with beans from one specific location being used to make superior varieties of chocolate for the cognoscenti. And that is where we are today: Sampling the three varieties of single origin chocolate in the Hershey's Cacao Reserve Single Origin Collection.

The package contained 17 pieces of chocolate ("tasting squares"), 4.2 oz. In my package, there were five of the Java premium milk chocolate (37% cacao), five of the Arriba premium dark milk chocolate (50% cacao) and seven of the Sao Tome premium dark chocolate (70% cacao). I tried one of each, starting with the lightest and going to the darkest, as I would if sampling varieties of beer.

The Java milk chocolate uses a rare, hand-picked form of Criollo cacao beans from the Indonesian island of Java. This is very, very good chocolate, very smooth, creamy and sweet.

The Arriba dark milk chocolate uses "a native strain of Forastero cacao beans from the natural rainforest region of southern Ecuador." This is also very good, but more bittersweet than the milk chocolate.

The Sao Tome dark chocolate is made from Sao Tome Forastero cacao beans. Very dark and robust.

You can probably find the sampler package at your local supermarket, and the individual varieties can be bought as bars as well.

There also was a Hershey's "Whole Bean" chocolate bar which uses the whole cacao bean, is 40% lower in sugar than regular chocolate and as an added bonus, has fiber! Yes, not only will you get your healthy flavinoids, but it'll keep you regular as well.

There also was an 86% cacao bar from another company, Lindt. I think that I would be afraid to try a chocolate bar with that high of a cacao content, because it would probably be so bitter. I'm willing to go to great lengths for my readers, but that might be a bridge too far.


Animal Story Farm, Day 2

Because some animal stories are still more equal than others:

Panda death stuns Berlin after polar bear euphoria
BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin Zoo denied media allegations on Tuesday that Knut the celebrity polar bear cub was responsible for the sudden demise of one of its older attractions, a 22-year-old panda who was found dead in her cage.

Just four days after the euphoria over the debut of three-and-a-half-month-old "Cuddly Knut", the mysterious death of Chinese-born Yan Yan stole the headlines in Tuesday's German newspapers.

Top-selling Bild reported the influx of visitors to the zoo -- about 30,000 a day -- could have stressed the black and white bear, who spent much of her time lying on her back chomping at bamboo shoots.
When you spend most of your time lying on your back chomping bamboo shoots, everything else probably seems stressful.

One wonders whether Yan Yan might be one of the panda porn stars who failed to get the attention of Chuang Chuang, the male panda in yesterday's story from Thailand. "Well, all she does is lay there!" the uninterested Chuang Chuang might have exclaimed. Well, if he could talk, he might have.

UPDATE: And how could I have missed this one?

Woman stopped wearing girdle of live crocodiles
JERUSALEM (AP) -- A woman was caught with three crocodiles strapped to her waist at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing after guards noticed that she looked "strangely fat," officials said.

The woman's odd shape raised suspicions at the Rafah terminal in southern Gaza, and a body search by a female border guard turned up the animals, each about 50 centimeters (20 inches) long, concealed underneath her loose robe, according to Maria Telleria, spokeswoman for the European observers who run the crossing.

"The woman looked strangely fat. Even though she was veiled and covered, even with so many clothes on there was something strange," Telleria said.

The incident, which took place on Thursday, sparked panic at the crossing.

"The policewoman screamed and ran out of the room, and then women began screaming and panicking when they heard," Telleria said. But when the hysteria died down, she said, "everybody was admiring a woman who is able to tie crocodiles to her body."
I suppose her suicide bomber belt must have been at the cleaners...


Animal Story Farm

Where all animal stories are equal, but some are more equal than others:

Zoo Hopes Porn Will Help Pandas Mate
CHIANG MAI, Thailand - Chuang Chuang the panda has been spending his days in front of a big screen television watching panda porn.

Authorities at the Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand hope the images will encourage him to mate with his partner, Lin Hui, and serve as an instructional lesson in how to do it right.

So far, it's been a tough sell, the zoo's chief veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, said Tuesday.

"Chuang Chuang seems indifferent to the videos; he has no reaction to what he's seeing on TV," Kanika said. "But, we're continuing to show him videos and hoping they will leave an impression."
One wonders whether Thai panda porn has a 1970s-style boom-chicka-wow-wow soundtrack. Maybe instead of the hardcore panda porn, they should get some of those soft-core spring break videos from Bangkok: Pandas Gone Wild! Then maybe Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui can get their freak on.

Group Finds Toad the Size of a Small Dog
DARWIN, Australia - An environmental group said Tuesday it had captured a "monster" toad the size of a small dog.

With a body the size of a football and weighing nearly 2 pounds, the toad is among the largest specimens ever captured in Australia, according to Frogwatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer.
The cane toads are a nuisance exotic species and quite poisonous, so Frogwatch rounds them up, kills and detoxifies them and then mulches them for fertilizer. No word on whether Godzilla the toad will get the same treatment, although I suspect he will. Unlike Knut the polar bear cub in Berlin, the toad isn't cute and cuddly, so his mulching would cause little outrage in the world, outside of radical toad activists. You laugh, but there are probably some out there. Believe it.


Monday Stuff

Anna Nicole autopsy results to be released in a couple of hours: Please, PLEASE let it be "natural causes" so she can go away and rest in peace. But you know that's not going to happen.

Creepiest story from the weekend: The guy in Houston who strangled his ex-girlfriend and then dismembered and burned her body on two barbecue grills on his balcony. There are far too many tasteless comments possible for this story, but I'm going to pass and let you compose your own.

On the Iranians taking 15 British sailors and Royal Marines hostage: Man, I miss the days of the old British Empire! 150 years ago, the British would be flattening villages with gunboats until the wogs gave their people back. You get the feeling that Blair & Co. won't take the stern action that they should. Then again, the Iranians have been responsible for the IEDs killing our soldiers and Marines in Iraq, and we haven't done jack shit about it either. We've got about 28 years worth of payback waiting for the Iranians, if we ever get leaders with the balls to do it. It's too bad that Carter was so damn feckless in 1979. Bombing the hell out of Iran back then could have nipped the whole Islamist movement in the bud. Bombing the hell out them now probably is a good idea, anyway. "Pour encourager les autres", as the French say. The Romans had another good saying: "Oderint dum metuant," which means "Let them hate, so long as they fear." I don't care if other countries don't love us, but I'd just as soon that they be afraid of us, so that they don't kidnap or murder Americans. If you have a reputation for ruthlessness, of destroying cities and selling the survivors into slavery and sowing the fields with salt, people don't mess with you. Well, the slavery bit is outmoded, but parts one and three still work. Ask the folks in Carthage. They never messed with Rome again after they got the "Cartago delenda est" treatment.


iPod Thoughts, Six Months On

I've had my iPod Nano for about six months now, and I still think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I can carry more than 2000 songs, a week's worth of music if played continuously, in my front pocket. And of course, that's far more time than the battery life, which is good but does require me to recharge it every three days or so. The Nano is light as a feather, and it doesn't have a hard drive or any other moving parts, since it uses flash memory rather than a hard drive, like the larger video iPods do. I got the Nano rather than a video iPod because all I wanted it for was to carry music around to listen to at work. It succeeds admirably at this task.

So, is 2000 songs enough? Well, yes and no. It's more music than I can listen to, but it can't possibly include all of the music that I own. I do have to decide what's going to go on the iPod, and if I want to add something, then something else has to come off, since it's usually pretty close to full. I've found that I have two conflicting desires: I want to have my favorite CDs on the iPod in their entirety, but I also want to have all of my favorite individual songs. Ultimately, something's got to give. Sometimes, I put just the songs I want from a particular CD on the iPod and unselect the rest of the CD in iTunes. I did that yesterday when I ripped the Eurythmics' Revenge, putting just "Missionary Man," "Thorn In My Side" and "When Tomorrow Comes" on the iPod. Although, after listening to those songs last night at work, I may just put the rest of that CD on the iPod as well. I'd forgotten how good Annie Lennox sounded on those songs.

There are some songs that I put on the iPod last September that I haven't played at all yet. There are other songs that have play counts over 100. The iPod tracks the number of times each track has been played, and even compiles a nifty Top 25 playlist for you. It tends to become a self-reinforcing list, since it's often easy to just click that playlist and hear the songs you've listened to the most. When it comes time to remove something in order to put something new on the iPod, I've started by dropping the stuff I don't actually play. Yeah, it's nice to have every Beatles and Bruce Springsteen CD on the iPod, but when you haven't played Nebraska after six months, and you want to put something new on it...

I've only ripped about half of the CDs in my collection, and one of these days, I'll sit down and rip the rest, then fill in some of the gaps on the iPod. No ZZ Top! I have the CDs, I just haven't ripped them. No "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper! I have that on CD, too, and it's my theme song. Well, one of them, anyway. A grievous oversight! Somebody should do something about that.

Next week, I'll take the time to write a post about my current Top 25, and how it has changed since the original Top 25 I wrote about last fall. Many of the same songs are still on the playlist; as I said, it tends to be self-reinforcing through sheer laziness. I'll also write about my most-played full CDs. The Bangles and Susanna Hoffs figure prominently on that list.

Yesterday, I added some new stuff. I ripped Joan Osborne's Relish from 1995, which had her hit song "One of Us," as well as some other songs I liked: "Right Hand Man" and "Let's Just Get Naked" were both pretty good. Several of the songs on the CD had a real Sheryl Crow feel to them, especially "Crazy Baby"; I got the feeling that either one of them could have sung some of the other's songs and the material would have felt authentic. So, if you're wondering, the song about "what if God was one of us" wasn't the only good one on the CD.


Something Odd

I was watching the local morning news at work the other day and a commercial came on for an FM radio station with the same call letters. A pop song played in the background while the video showed short clips of a young woman, then a woman passing a folder to another woman in a office, then a mom driving in her car with her young daughter, then a middle-aged woman. All were smiling as the voice-over told about how mellow the music on their station was. What was missing? Not a single male in the commercial, at all. Not even a wimpy, metrosexual one. It was pretty clear who their target demographic was. Then again, perhaps they realized who their audience was and that males in any age group probably were a lost cause, because they were listening to other stations (talk radio, sports talk, classic rock or country).

I'm just guessing, but I'd say that any guy who admits to listening to that particular station would probably be required to turn in his man-card, anyway.


Thoughts on Yesterday's Video

For those who are not familiar with the back story on that video, let me fill you in. The original ad was created by Apple for the 1984 Super Bowl. The only thing that was changed from the original was removing Big Brother's video and audio from the telescreen and replacing it with black-and-white video from Hillary Clinton. I thought it was a powerful ad that had an element of truth to it, which is necessary to make a parody work. I think it's fair to say that Senator Clinton's o'erweening ambition is no secret, and that almost all Republicans and not a few Democrats feel a sense of unease at the thought of her as President of the United States.

So what does the ad say about the state of politics in America in 2007? Well, it says that the Internet has changed political campaigns forever, for good or ill. No longer does a campaign ad require a professional ad agency to create the material or a television advertising time buy in order to disseminate the message. Instead, any reasonably intelligent person with some skill in video editing can create a video ad, and anyone with access to a YouTube account can then upload that video to the Internet. The gatekeepers no longer have control over the content or the dissemination of information. The Internet has been as revolutionary in breaking the monopoly of the Mainstream Media as Gutenberg's printing press was in breaking the religious monopoly of the Catholic Church, and this kind of ad shows the maturation of the process.

When I was growing up, the Mainstream Media had a complete monopoly on the information that the American people received. You had your choice of three television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, which were ideologically as alike as peas in a pod. You had your local daily newspaper, and while there most likely was a morning paper and an evening paper, the odds were that they were both put out by the same publisher and thus were in ideological lockstep. Only if you lived in a really large city like New York or Chicago or Los Angeles were you likely to have different competitive newspapers vying for your attention. You could subscribe to weekly news magazines like Time or Newsweek, and if you were of a political bent, you could get something like The Nation or The Weekly Standard. If you were a real wonk, you could go to your local public library and read several-days-old out-of-town newspapers. And you could also read whatever you might find in that library or in bookstores. And that was the sum total of the information that was available to you.

Contrast that with today: I can read today's newspapers from across the country and around the world with a few mouse clicks. I can access more information with a Google search than I could have by going through the card catalogs and the periodicals at my local library when I was a kid. The sum total of mankind's knowledge is available to me, most of it for free or at most a nominal charge. And I can view videos of music or political commentary for only the cost of the time it takes me to download them. It is an exhilarating time to be alive.


Somewhere in Massachusetts...

John Kerry is watching this and wondering why he didn't use the concept in 2004. Except that it works ever so much better with Hillary! on the telescreen.

You can almost hear the strains of "Oceania,'Tis For Thee" in the background.


You Can't Always Get What You Want

Well, you might be able to get it, but it could cost you an arm and a leg to do so. I found this out a while back when I was looking for a particular out-of-print music CD from the early 1990s, The Left Banke's There's Gonna Be A Storm. Amazon.com didn't have it, but they did have links to third-party vendors who had it. Of course, if it's a collector's item, then the cost will be higher. In this case, it was $66.96 and up. And I found that I didn't need it quite that badly.

So if you're looking for that CD of Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood duets (Fairy Tales and Fantasies: The Best of Nancy and Lee), it'll run you at least $97.47. Or perhaps you want the Greg Kihn Band's Kihnspiracy? Then you'd better be prepared to pony up at least $37.75, and at least $62.99 if you want the import version. Your wallet's in jeopardy, baby, ooooo-oo-oooo-oooo.

Have Some Pi

It's 3.14. Have some pi!

After reading that article, I feel much more normal.


No Sparkle For Diamond Dave

Perhaps you saw this account of last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, which featured the addition of the Ronettes, Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash, R.E.M. and Van Halen. Unfortunately, as the story notes:
Only Van Halen's second lead singer, Sammy Hagar, and ex-bass player Michael Anthony turned up for their induction. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen has just gone into rehab and original lead singer David Lee Roth stayed away in a tiff over what he would perform.

Hagar said he wished his bandmates could be there, but "it's out of our control."

"It's hard for Mike and I to be up here to do this, but you couldn't have kept me away from this with a shotgun," Hagar said.

It took less to keep Roth away. He stood up the hall, reportedly because he couldn't agree on what to sing with the band Velvet Revolver, which offered a tribute. Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame, said Roth was offered a chance to sing a song of his choice with the house band. "The decision not to come was solely his, not ours."
Now, it's no secret that "Diamond Dave" has an ego the size of Lake Erie, so it's no surprise that he wasn't able to fit it inside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It seems that he wanted to sing "Jump," but Velvet Revolver didn't have that one in their repertoire and didn't feel comfortable with trying to do it on short notice. They offered to do "You Really Got Me," but that wasn't good enough for Roth, so he skipped the appearance completely.

It's kind of sad, really. You only get the chance for an honor like that once, and he just blew it off. I found it interesting to contrast this with how things are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, for instance. Most players who make it to Cooperstown aren't elected in their first year of eligibility. When they do finally make it, they feel more of a sense of comraderie with their fellow players than they did while they were playing the game. They tend to let old resentments and rivalries fade away. The musicians, by contrast, sometimes snipe at former bandmates; Debbie Harry of Blondie did this last year, I believe.

I think part of the difference is the different eligibility rules. For the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a band becomes eligible 25 years after their debut album. For the Baseball Hall of Fame, players have to be retired for five full seasons. This means that baseball players have some time away from the game to gain perspective, to recognize what was important and what wasn't. Even those who had gargantuan egos while playing tend to become a bit more humble when they are no longer major league stars.

Musicians, by contrast, don't retire. They may not be playing to packed stadiums any longer; they may be playing the county fair in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas, but they're still out there. And so the David Lee Roths of the music world haven't had the opportunity to gain the perspective that a Cooperstown honoree has.

Not every baseball player automatically becomes wise and appreciative when elected to the Hall of Fame, but at least they behave more appropriately and show up for their induction. The only possible future exception might be Barry Bonds, who shares David Lee Roth's immense sense of self-worth. And I think even Bonds has enough respect for the game and for the Hall of Fame to show up for his induction if and when he is elected to Cooperstown.


That Was Then, This Is Now

Perhaps you've been following President Bush's trip to South and Central America over the past few days. This morning, he'll be at an archaelogical site in Guatemala, which brings up this hilarious news story:
Mayan priest to purify sacred site after Bush visit

GUATEMALA CITY — Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

Bush's tour includes a stopover beginning late Sunday in Guatemala. On Monday morning he is scheduled to visit the archaeological site Iximche.

Tiney said the "spirit guides of the Mayan community" decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of "bad spirits" after Bush's visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace.

So, let's see, that would be those same Mayans who used to fight wars with their neighbors so that they could have captives to sacrifice to their gods by ripping their beating hearts out on the altars? Are those the "ancestors" who need to be able rest in peace? Because if President Bush is the kind of person that One Tiny (Fill-in-the-blank) thinks he is, then those bloodthirsty human-sacrificing ancestors should be pleased as punch to have him visit. How do you say "hypocrisy" in Mayan? This silliness is akin to having the Vatican decrying the injustice of capital punishment. But then, nobody expects the Mayan Inquisition!


Peak Experiences

I saw in yesterday's news that NASA has fired Lisa Nowak from the astronaut program, and sent her back to military duty. I thought about her plight, as well as that of people like Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith. Was there a common thread to their self-destructive behavior? And then I thought of something, with which you may or may not agree: Some people's self-destructive behavior can be explained by their inability to recapture a peak experience.

Let's look at Lisa Nowak's career, for instance. She was an astronaut, part of a highly-competitive, high-achieving group. There are more astronauts in the program than there are flight slots on the Shuttles. Some astronauts spend years waiting for their opportunity to go into space, as Ms. Nowak did. Even if an astronaut does everything perfectly, there's still a chance that they'll never have another opportunity to break the surly bonds of Earth again. People don't enter the astronaut corps with a dream of being ground support personnel; they want to fly in space. They want to be Captain Kirk. And when they finally do make it into space, if they do, it is the peak experience of their career. For those days or weeks in space, they do what so many others can only dream of doing. They can look down upon the Earth from orbit, and that has to be a life-altering experience.

But what do you do when that peak experience is past? What do you do when you've landed and you know that you'll probably never get to do it again? That is what Ms. Nowak was looking at when she came back from last summer's Shuttle mission. Only those who have known such lofty peak experiences can understand the bitter disappointment of knowing that they can never be achieved again. But what does that do to a person? It could cause him or her to reassess his life, personal relationships, etc. And this was the time frame in which her marriage was falling apart, although it appears that she had been having an affair with Bill Oefelein for some three years, so apparently her marriage was none too healthy even before her peak experience.

How does this compare to Anna Nicole Smith? Well, she had made a long career out of her sex appeal, from the early days with Playboy, to marrying into big (and very, very old) money, to parlaying it into a television show in which she competed with Ozzie Osbourne to find out which celebrity was more wasted. But as any woman knows, youth's a thing that will not last. Anna Nicole was pushing 40, and the older a woman gets, the harder it is to compete with the younger, firmer sex kittens in her business. Perhaps this knowledge, and the inability to recapture her peak experiences of her younger days, led to the self-medication that seems likely to have contributed to her death.

And Britney Spears, like other former child stars, is finding that it's hard to stay on top in the popularity contests. What must it be like to have your greatest career success in your teens, and know that you're never likely to be able to top it for the rest of your life, no matter how hard you try? It's no big surprise that so many of those child stars end up with substance abuse problems, as they try to find something that feels as good as all of that attention and adulation that they used to get.

In the fairy tales, the hero slays the dragon and marries the beautiful princess and lives happily ever after. In real life, however, even if you get everything you ever dreamed of, then the problem is knowing that you have nothing left to strive for. Alexander the Great wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. He'd had his peak experience, and it was all downhill from there.


Pardon Scooter!

What a stinking travesty of justice! Ol' Captain Ahab Fitzgerald went out after the Great White Whale, and not only did he not get it, he didn't even get the Great White Shark. He got the remora that swam next to the shark. It'll look great in his trophy room.

The whole investigation was supposed to be about who leaked the name of CIA analyst Valerie Plame to the press, and whether any actual crime had been committed. Instead, special persecutor (no, that's not a typo) Patrick Fitzgerald went after Scooter Libby, not for leaking a name but for lying to FBI investigators and obstructing justice. Special persecutor Fitzgerald KNEW who the leaker was: The State Department's Richard Armitage, a motor-mouth gossip and a critic even at that time of the Bush administration's move toward war in Iraq.

And yet, even though the special persecutor KNEW who the leaker was, he continued to grill everyone else he could investigate, trying to find any inconsistencies in their testimony so that he could persecute them for perjury. A question: Do you remember in which order you discussed a particular issue on your job with people six months ago? Would you be willing to testify under oath about it? The correct answer is, "No, how the hell would I remember something that far back?!?!" And if you had a politically-motivated special persecutor bringing the weight of the "Justice" Department down on your head, you'd be looking at the same sort of sentence as Scooter Libby. Think about that. There, but for the grace of God and the lack of a special persecutor, go you.

If someone has told you that the Bushies deliberately leaked Plame's name as payback for her husband's bogus New York Times op-ed piece about what he claims he found in Niger, then that person lied to you, because Armitage wasn't carrying water for the Bush administration.

And so, we had this travesty of an investigation. There was no underlying crime committed, and THIS was the best that special persecutor Fitzgerald could come up with: A political witch-hunt in Washington. Well congratulations, Cotton Mather! You found that witch, alright. There's no way that a Republican can get a fair trial in that town. As David Frum noted in David Frum's Diary at National Review Online:
Now we remember why Democrats are so much more eager than Republicans to criminalize politics: Because they know that the ultimate power over the lives and liberties of the contestants is held by juries drawn from the most Democratic jurisdiction in the country. Would Scooter have been convicted - would a prosecutor ever have dared to try him - if the capital of the United States were located in say Indianapolis?
Or Salt Lake City, the real anti-Washington? No way. And President Bush should pardon Scooter Libby, ASAP.


Oh, No, They Didn't!

Oh, yes, they did! Yesterday's New York Daily News cover had one of those amusing juxtapositions of headlines. The top half featured a picture of the civil rights groups and Democrat politicians in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday, with Barack Obama at the far left side of the picture and Hillary and Bill Clinton on the far right side. Above the line of people was a headline in white letters "Return to Selma." Just below the picture, in giant black capital letters: "SEX FIENDS ON PROWL" and below, in much smaller print - "Cops hunt scores of fugitive offenders."

The bottom headline is in a skinny-lined box, but if you don't look closely, your mind could accidentally conflate the headline with picture. Well, there's definitely ONE sex fiend that we know of in that picture! I had a good chuckle over it. Unfortunately, I can't find a copy of the picture. Amazingly, this was not the New York Post, the Big Apple's conservative-leaning tabloid, but the liberal Daily News. If it was a soccer game, that would be called an "own goal."


"Ve're Vhere? Liechtenstein? Oh, Scheisse!"

Funniest story of the weekend: Swiss Army accidentally invades Liechtenstein

After looking at that picture, I can understand why the Liechtensteiners are so unworried about the invincible Swiss juggernaut being unleashed upon their defenseless country.

"No blood for schnitzel!"

Unfunniest story of the weekend: Ann Coulter's comments at the CPAC convention on Friday, when she used a word slurring gay people to describe Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards. She obviously didn't read my post the other day where I noted:
Say something offensive about anyone, anyone, and you'll be forced to apologize and buy them the roast duck with mango salsa.
She should have read my blog. Now it looks like she owes a lot of people dinner.

She did Republicans no favors with her mean-spirited comments. There is plenty of other valid criticism about Mr. Edwards, starting with the hypocrisy of his populist "Two Americas" message while building a 28,000 square foot mansion in North Carolina. Even calling him a "narcissistic metrosexual" would probably have been accurate and acceptable. But what she said was offensive and hurtful to some people, and while most of those people won't vote Republican, some might, and it's stupid for people like Coulter to drive them off with name-calling.

And for those who say that the bomb-throwers on the Left, such as the bloggers Edwards hired and then released, do the same thing all the time, that doesn't make Coulter's comments any more acceptable. We don't want to sink the level of our opponents. We're better than that.