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Poor dumb Dick!

There’s been a remarkable amount of drama surrounding Dick Armey’s departure from FreedomWorks, culminating Friday with a stunning report from Media Matters, who interviewed the former House Majority Leader directly. Armey had all kinds of interesting insights to share with the progressive group, including tidbits on pay-for-play agreements with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and the FreedomWorks’ practice of charging activists to attend free events.

Though many of Armey’s revelations should probably be taken with a grain of salt — the former GOP leader seemed confused about some of the details he shared — there was a larger question that puzzled nearly everyone: why in the world was Dick Armey dishing dirt to Media Matters?

The Daily Caller, a conservative outlet, tracked down the answer.

Dick Armey had no idea he was speaking to the left-wing Media Matters organization during an interview last week, he told The Daily Caller Tuesday. Instead, Armey thought he was chatting with the conservative Media Research Center. […]

[I]n a Tuesday phone interview with TheDC, Armey insisted that even though [Media Matters blogger Joe Strupp] properly identified himself, it wasn’t until “somebody busted my chops on Facebook” that he realized spoke to a left-wing group…. “That was a major, big screw up on my part. I thought they were somebody else.”

As for who he thought he was speaking to, Armey asked the Daily Caller, “Who’s the guy with the red beard that always does the show where he points out how biased the press is?” Told he seemed to be referring to the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell, who does a weekly “Media Mash” segment on Fox News, Armey said, “Yeah, I thought it was Brent Bozell.”

Step away from the Diet Coke

Someone’s going to have to come up with an equally efficient caffeine delivery system (no, coffee doesn’t hit the brain as rapidly as soda). But they found coffee drinkers are at lower risk for depression:

Drinking more than four sweetened beverages a day, especially diet soda, doesn’t appear to be good for one’s mood, a study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found.

In a study of more than 200,000 older adults, those who drank more than four cans of soda a day had a 30 percent greater risk of depression than those who consumed none. The same amount of fruit punch was tied to a 38 percent higher risk, according to research released today by the American Academy of Neurology.

The risk was even greater for people who consumed diet drinks, whether soda, punch or iced tea.

The study, one of the first to look at sweetened beverages and depression, doesn’t explain the connection, so it’s still unknown how the drinks may be tied to mental health, said Honglei Chen, one of the study’s researchers. One theory is that the drinks have been linked to diabetes and obesity, which in turn can lead to the mood disorder, he said.

“Although our results are preliminary, consumption of sweetened beverages should be reduced as they have been linked to other adverse health outcomes,” said Chen, an investigator in the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, part of the NIH, in a Jan. 7 e-mail.

They haven’t established causality, but those are still some impressive numbers.

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