Aug 162015

Friday morning at nine, I was visited by Dr. Lura Tradkrammer, Division Director, Office of Water, US Environmental Protection Agency. My clients don’t come more agitated and anxious than she was. I could feel the tension and apprehension exuding from her as she forthrightly positioned herself in the chair directly in front of my desk. “Mr. Collins,” she timorously declared, “I’ve heard a lot about you, and frankly I was – and remain – highly skeptical of your alleged talents.” “So why are you here?” I asked. “Because the Administrator ordered that the Deputy Administrator recommend that the Assistant Administrator for Water Quality instruct the Deputy Assistant Administrator of my Division to require that I see you.” “Okay,” I observed, […]

Jul 282015

Prior to taking in The Book of Mormon Sunday evening at the Kennedy Center, Cerise and I enjoyed an early dinner at the Willard Hotel, followed by cocktails at the Round Robin Bar. There we witnessed Bodine and Garcia, Senate staffers for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and freshman senator Ted Cruz, respectively, engaged in a heated discussion over their drinks. “Three times!” Garcia bellowed, pounding his fist on the table for emphasis, “just like Peter denying Jesus! Three times your man McConnell denied there was a deal to attach funding for the Export-Import Bank to the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015 in exchange for their votes last May in favor of Trade Promotion Authority! Three times!” “That,” […]

Jul 082015

It was that weekend around the Fourth of July, and six entire consecutive days away from the office is a welcome rarity for Gretchen. And as it turned out this morning, she certainly needed the equanimity a short vacation can confer, as Austin Houston Crockett Bowie Bonham III – married horndog Texan who should know better – spent nearly five minutes on trying to pry a home telephone number out of her before giving up in frustration and allowing Gretchen to transfer the call to me. Austin: Hello, Tom? Tom: Yes Austin, it’s me. How are you doing? Austin: Mighty disappointed with that there receptionist of yours, for one thing, that’s for sure. Tom: She’s my private secretary. Austin: A […]

Jun 112015

Weeknights at the Round Robin Bar tend to be quiet, uncrowded and convivial – unless it’s a Friday, when things become a bit more, shall we say, kinetic. Last night should have been one of the former, naturally, but it definitely wasn’t. When I walked in, there were Horn and Hardart, going at it hammer and tongs. “You bastard!” Horn complained, pounding his fist on the bar. “OPM paid Microsoft Federal eight figures for software and support, and God damn it, that was supposed to include some [expletive] security!” “Read the EULA,” Hardart retorted. “The software product is provided ‘as is’ and without specific guarantee in whole or part, expressed or implied!” “Now I know why you joined Congressional Country […]

Jun 032015

Early this afternoon, Merdoso Donnato Pompino, representing the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, paid me a visit for a consultation. Obviously still on Naples time, he arrived twenty minutes late, and obviously a completely self-absorbed, if obviously aging jock, he nevertheless spent another ten trying to get Gretchen’s telephone number. What the hell, as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine with me – it’s his money – or FIFA’s anyway. “Mr. Collins,” he opened as he sprawled on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House, “you have heard of FIFA’s recent… ah… legal problems, I suppose?” “Who hasn’t?” I replied. “In the middle of last week, the Swiss police arrested six FIFA executives at the […]