Thursday, I finished late – the last consultation ended at a quarter of nine. My footsteps echoed in the quiet, deserted parking garage under the building. Approaching my imported sports car, just as I was about to take out the electronic key to open the door, I heard an anxious whisper from behind a nearby concrete column. “Hey, Tom!” I immediately recognized the voice. It belonged to my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski. “Jesus Christ, Hank! What the hell are you doing, lurking around my parking garage? Aren’t you supposed to be up in the wilds of West Virginia with Shannon, preparing for the End Times?” “We had to come back to DC,” he explained in a hushed voice as he and [...]

 

Friday night, Cerise and I had dinner at 1789, took in an Indian dance recital at the Kennedy Center and went clubbing in Georgetown, Adams Morgan and DuPont Circle. Arriving back at my place in Great Falls around dawn, we finally got to sleep about eight thirty. At three fifteen in the afternoon on Saturday, I got up to make us a late brunch. I had barely taken the fresh organic quail eggs, Black Label Papillon Roquefort and Beluga caviar out of the refrigerator, however, when my land line began to ring incessantly. Letting it go four times proved the caller wasn’t about to give up and also allowed me to brew a quad luwak espresso and drop in a [...]

 

Bright and early on Wednesday morning, I welcomed Dr. Angus MacFergus McTavish Dundee Ph.D., President of the American Scottish Independence Society, to my office for a policy consultation. “Congratulations,” I said as he seated himself primly on the chair immediately in front of my desk, “it looks like the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland next week will be going your way.” “Frankly,” he sighed, “that’s why I’m here.” “You don’t seem very cheerful about the prospect,” I observed. “I would have thought you’d have worn your kilt of Dundee Clan tartan and perhaps favored me and Gretchen with a few bagpipe tunes. Or perhaps you’re waiting until after the referendum, when you will be certain there is something to celebrate?” [...]

 

Tomorrow, Monday, after a five-week recess, Congress will return to Washington and resume the usual routine of infighting, scheming, finger-pointing, prevaricating, back-stabbing, grandstanding and gridlock that has characterized its behavior for the last six years. But just as Louis B. Mayer once observed that it takes just as much money and work to make a terrible motion picture nobody goes to see as it does to make an Academy Award-winning blockbuster, it takes just as much money and work to provide the citizens of the United States with a farcical parody of our government’s legislative branch as it does to provide them with a genuine and effective one. And an essential element of having a Congress of any kind is [...]

 

Fair is fair, and since I hosted the last big family cookout, and not so long ago, either, my brother Rob Roy will be doing the honors for Labor Day at his place in Falls Church. This meant that I had no related preparations to make, and since I had managed to avoid booking any consultations on Saturday, I actually had an entire day with nothing in particular to do. Cerise had gone to the beach – Chincoteague, Virginia, actually, where she’s friends with a couple of wildlife refuge park rangers and numerous wild ponies. They’re horses, actually, descendants of a small group stranded there when a Spanish galleon wrecked on nearby Assateague Island back in the sixteenth century. But [...]

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