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?” [...]


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 [...]


Fair is fair, and since I hosted the last big family cookout, and not so long ago, either, my brother Rob Roy will be doing the honors for Labor Day at his place in Falls Church. This meant that I had no related preparations to make, and since I had managed to avoid booking any consultations on Saturday, I actually had an entire day with nothing in particular to do. Cerise had gone to the beach – Chincoteague, Virginia, actually, where she’s friends with a couple of wildlife refuge park rangers and numerous wild ponies. They’re horses, actually, descendants of a small group stranded there when a Spanish galleon wrecked on nearby Assateague Island back in the sixteenth century. But [...]


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 [...]


Around seven on Friday evening, just as I was about to congratulate myself on a very long and profitable day which had begun shortly before six in the morning, I received a telephone call from Austin Houston Crockett Bowie Bonham III, Texan extraordinaire. Tom: Hello, this is Tom Collins. Austin: Tom? That you? Tom: Yes. Austin: Tom, this is Austin Bonham. Tom: I know – I’d recognize that voice anywhere. Austin: You would, huh? Tom: Absolutely. It’s unmistakable. Austin: Meaning what? Tom: Meaning you sound like a cross between Strom Thurmond, Lyndon Johnson, Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam. Austin: Well, I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment. Tom: You should – since nobody knows what Jubilation T. Cornpone sounded [...]

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