It being the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the work schedule for Gretchen and myself was somewhat lighter than a typical Monday. This was good, because not only did it mean there was time for me to meet with my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski, and his sister-in-law, Shannon, it also meant there were fewer regular clients in the reception area for them to give the willies to. Dressed in their usual survivalist outfits, the pair of them regularly prompt the security desk in the lobby to call and alert Gretchen of their impending arrival and inquire if DC Police backup might be required. “We have to talk,” Shannon declared as they strode into my office. “Back there,” Hank whispered as […]

 

Despite the impending holidays, I still manged to get overbooked this week, which lead to Gretchen and me having to work nine and one half hours on a Saturday. The increasing urgency of various matters around the planet have made it nearly impossible for me to work a decent five day week anymore, but in an economy where millions of overqualified professionals are still settling for jobs at WalMart, complaints would be unseemly, I know, and I certainly am not about to kvetch about the gold nuggets in my mill stream. Yesterday, for example, I made enough money that your typical PhD environmental scientist could pay the tuition covering vocational rehabilitation training as a Microsoft certified .NET developer with it. […]

 

The calls started late on Tuesday, November 4. I received five of them before midnight. They have continued unabated since. It’s an assured ritual that occurs like clockwork every two years – new members of Congress calling me for the sort of advice and information not found in the traditional freshman briefings offered on Capitol Hill. And again, as I have every two years for quite some time now, I cry “enough!” Stop calling my home! Stop trying to shoehorn yourselves or your top banana into the appointment schedule at my office! You all ask the same questions, anyway, so here’s my biannual Advice to Congressional Newbies post. What you want to know about those “confidential issues,” the answers to […]

 

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?” […]

 

At 9:25 AM on Thursday morning, I welcomed Tyrone Mohammed Nguyen Garcia-Vasilescu, principal lobbyist for the Association of Independent American Taxi and Limousine Operators, which is headquartered here in Washington DC, to my office for a consultation. His appointment was for nine o’clock, and to say he was in a state of extremely ironic high dungeon would be an understatement. “Would you believe,” he inquired as he plunked his ample frame on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House and slammed his Louis Vuitton briefcase on the coffee table, “that I couldn’t get a cab?” “During rush hour, in this city,” I assured him, “absolutely.  That’s hardly unusual – even if it isn’t raining cats […]

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