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 242015

McDonnell is a macro economist at the American Enterprise Institute, an ostensibly nonpartisan public policy research think-tank here in Washington DC. Well, as Teddy Roosevelt used to say, horsefeathers!  AEI is a community of sycophantic, neoconservative scholars and their obscenely wealthy supporters committed to making sure that the rich get richer and the poor get children. Well, all right, I admit it, that’s downright genocidal nasty of them, but they do pay their bills on time, okay? And keeping up my highly respectable domicile in Great Falls, Virginia involves me paying quite a few bills of my own, so I try not to be too judgmental – after all, who says the poor don’t deserve more children? He’s a regular […]

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 […]

May 252015

Saturday evening, after dinner at Del Campo in Chinatown (which paradoxically features South American cuisine, by the way), Cerise, having been given two free tickets by a friend serendipitously connected with the show, and having subsequently promised to go as a personal favor to that individual, went with me to see The Orginalist at Arena Stage. It’s a play about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Yes, international readers of this Web Log, whom the Googlestats tell me are legion, strange as it may seem, here in the USA our playwrights actually devote their creative energies to works concerning judges, in this case one who parses the prose of our Constitution using an eighteenth-century dictionary in order to ensure he correctly […]