My dear sister Rose’s oldest son, Hank Jr., came down to DC this week from Rhode Island, where he is studying art at Brown, in order to curate some recent modern art acquisitions for the Smithsonian. He brought along his current girlfriend, Lorelei, who is an English major. Hank Jr. dropped by my office on Friday for a brief visit between consultations and mentioned that while here in the Nation’s Capital, she would like to speak with me about “journalistic techniques for managing relations with powerful people in government.” I said sure, and had Gretchen book her for an appointment on Tuesday. Lorelei demurred, however, requesting a telephone conference instead, despite the fact that she was here in Washington. Her […]

 

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. […]

 

Yesterday morning at nine, I was visited by Harold Scheisskopf, Political Strategy Coordinator with the National Republican Congressional Committee. He projected his usual veneer of smug, supercilious Skull and Bones pretension, but beneath it, I readily detected a current of distinct unease. “Nice [expletive]-kicking we gave the Democrats, huh?” Scheisskopf opened as he assumed the seat directly to the right of my desk and leaned in. “By now, I bet your left-wing buddies have been crying in their beer for three solid weeks.” “Not only that,” I chuckled, “they have been expecting me to buy the next round after they are done.” “Typical cheapskate liberals,” he snorted. “Get any good dirt on them while they [expletive] and moaned about us […]

 

My very last consultation last Friday was with Rabbi Mordechi Dovid Slivovitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, recently elected President of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinical Organization National and International Council. Frankly, I’ve never seen him so upset. “Oy vey ist mir,” he wailed as he plunked his ample, ovoid frame down on the couch with an air of complete anxiety and consternation, “the worst crisis since the Doheny glatt kosher scandal has erupted, right here in Washington DC – and in Georgetown, no less!” “You are referring,” I presumed, “to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, of Congregation Kesher Israel, the most prestigious upscale Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the entire National Capital area?” “What else?” Slivovitz shrugged. “The entire Jewish community […]

 

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 […]

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