Sep 082016
 

Anthony D. Weiner started calling my office Tuesday, asking for a consultation. Having taken off the entire month of July, I’ve been very busy lately, despite it being summer here in Washington DC, and Gretchen just couldn’t find an open spot anywhere in the schedule. So around six-thirty in the evening the next day, she popped her head into my office and told me Mr. Weiner was on the phone again, wondering what I could do for him, at which point I agreed to have him call my office number after eight-thirty. When I left at seven PM, I made sure to set up my office phone to forward all calls to the land line at my home in Great […]

Aug 212016
 

My eleven o’clock consultation on Friday morning was with Vice President Joe Biden. He’s a very busy fellow, of course, and it’s hardly practical for him to visit my office, what with the Secret Service detail and all of the security issues involved. So he called, naturally. Biden: Hello, Tom? Tom: Good morning, Mr. Vice President. Biden: Oh, come on, Tom, call me Joe. Tom: Okay. Hi, Joe. What’s up? Biden: Ah, the usual routine for a campaign, you know – fund raisers, that sort of thing. Lots of speeches, too. Reminding the voters what an unstable, dangerous [expletive] hole Donald Trump is, mostly. Plus all the rest of that vice-presidential stuff, like presiding over the Senate. That’s been kinda […]

Jun 282016
 

Friday evening, Cerise and I stopped by the Round Robin Bar in the Willard Hotel for cocktails before having dinner at the Café du Parc and taking in a show at the Kennedy Center. Certainly, the scene at the Round Robin about five o’clock the day Donald Trump actually won enough delegates to become the Republican Party nominee for president was a circus of the absurd, no doubt about it. But this – this was the day after the first repercussions of the Brexit had reverberated around the globe. World markets had plunged, causing three trillion dollars of paper equity to vanish overnight like an inside trader from Goldman Sachs headed for Brunei one step ahead of the SEC. And […]

Jun 142016
 

My two o’clock consultation today was with Dr. Gwenyth Sguthan Gotsan-Cedors, Principal Technology Analyst for Developing Economies at the World Bank. I expected that we would continue our previous discussion of micro-banking strategies to provide water purification, solar energy solutions and Internet access at the village level in rural Africa, but when she primly set herself down in the chair located to the right of my desk and leaned in, I knew something different was in store. “Bugger your damned American politics, Collins,” she declared with a glare. “It’s ruining my love life.” “How so?” I inquired with my most innocent tone. “For one thing,” she complained, “your presidential elections take years! My fiance started getting wrapped up in them […]

May 302016
 

My eleven o’clock consultation on Friday was with Dr. Dhoti Bandarkochaak Ladochus Janthabhalu Machikne, Special Delegate Designate for Tourism at the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Once in my office, he perched on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House and took a sip of the masala chia Gretchen had provided at my instruction. “After recent events,” he opened, “we had hoped that the spring 2016 mountaineering season would have had a less tragic beginning.” “The last couple of years have been pretty rough,” I concurred. “The Khumbu Icefall disaster in 2014 killed sixteen Sherpas, then an avalanche tore through base camp during the earthquake of April 25, 2015 and caused twenty-two […]