Jul 232017
 

As the venerable aphorism so pithily puts it, the difference between Hell and Washington DC in the summer is that Hell has dry heat. With the thermometer flirting with one hundred degrees Fahrenheit and the air so sodden with water vapor that stepping outside of an air conditioned building feels like crawling into a Siksika sweat lodge erected in the middle of a Turkish steam bath, it’s sufficiently discouraging to keep even the most workaholic political hacks, ramrod-backed Pentagon chicken colonels and policy-obsessed think tank wonks from booking consultations with me on a weekend. So, thanks to that, I had the day off on the twenty-second of July and dare say I had enough common sense to stay inside my […]

Mar 052017
 

Thursday afternoon, Gretchen took an urgent call from Ben Carson, requesting an immediate consultation. “The name sounds familiar,” she remarked, “Wasn’t he one of those sixteen other bozos besides Trump who ran for president as Republicans last year?” “That’s correct,” I confirmed. “Dr. Ben Carson is a famous pediatric neurosurgeon who came up the hard way on the wrong side of the tracks in Detroit, struggling with a terrible temper and valiantly overcoming a tendency toward violent behavior and assault with deadly weapons, at last finding Christian faith and using it to humbly rise to the top of the medical profession, later to become a darling of the American conservative movement.” “Oh, now, I think I remember him,” Gretchen remarked. […]

Feb 012017
 

Tuesday evening, I was relaxing at home, alone with my cat Twinkle, reading Harpers, The Atlantic, Scientific American and The Economist when the phone rang. Caller ID showed that it was the cell number of my brother-in-law Hank, from whom, at that point, I had not heard anything in quite some time. Tom: Hank? Hank: Tom? Tom: Who else would it be? Where are you? Hank: In West Virginia. Tom: Right. Look, Hank, Obama’s not the president anymore. He’s gone. He’s history, okay? So why don’t you and Shannon quit preparing for Armageddon and come down from the hills? Because if Obama was the Antichrist, he sure did a rotten job, didn’t he? Rose misses you. Arthur misses Shannon. And […]

Dec 102016
 

As I write this, president-elect Trump has designated the CEO of a fast-food enterprise to be the Secretary of Labor, a doctor to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the CEO of Exxon-Mobil to become Secretary of State, the head of American professional wrestling as the chief of the Small Business Administration, a Hollywood producer as Secretary of the Treasury and a person who believes climate change is a Chinese hoax to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He has announced that he will keep his job as the executive producer of the NBC television show “Celebrity Apprentice” while he serves as president of the United States. His tweets attacking a union leader have caused his followers to issue […]

Oct 182016
 

This morning, I received a visit from Dr. Byeong Shin Nom, Chief Macroeconomist for International Commerce at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea here in Washington DC. A sadder sight I have not seen in weeks, at least – the poor guy shambled into my office and practically collapsed on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House. Physically, he was a total wreck – his eyes were sunken and puffy; I doubt he had slept in a week, and his face sagged in the most dismal fashion. He looked like Death warmed over, for sure. Finally managing to pull himself up to face me, he sat there for an inordinate time, simply staring, by […]