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Morning Feature – He Said What? (Ask Ms. Crissie)

April 15, 2012

Morning Feature

Morning Feature – He Said What? (Ask Ms. Crissie)

“We’re heading downstairs now,” Ms. Scarlet said.

“I didn’t say that,” Professor Plum added.

They read the mail again. (More)

They watched the staff poker game for a minute or two, then left for the wine cellar library to spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”). The Professor of Astrology Janitor then tried to recall whether Chef or the Squirrel had raised to open the current hand. The Squirrel had bet on the Ace-Six-Five flop. Chef folded, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor called with his pocket Fives making three of a kind. The Squirrel bet the pot when the Queen of Diamonds fell on the turn, and again the Professor of Astrology Janitor called. When the Nine of Hearts came on the river, the Squirrel pushed in the rest of his chips.

The Squirrel would not go all in with three-of-a-kind, as only a better hand would call. If he made the opening raise, the Squirrel probably had an Ace-Queen and was now bluffing with two pair. If Chef opened the betting, the Squirrel might have called with an Eight-Seven, bluffed on the flop and turn, and made a Nine-high straight on the river. But Ms. Scarlet and Professor Plum walked right as the hand began, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor could not remember who had said what. He called. The Squirrel turned up the Eight-Seven of Diamonds and flicked his tail happily as he gathered his chips. The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling, and Chef went to the kitchen to make Hazelnut Waffles, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money. I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that. We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that. I remind folks all the time that the Declaration of Independence says “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” You don’t have it dumped in your lap. Don’t you agree?

Mitt in La MANHCA

Dear Mitt,

We congratulate you on having taken no student loans, however we note that you graduated from college several decades ago and may not realize that tuition and other college expenses have far outpaced inflation. Few students today can afford to attend college without student loans, and combined student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion. U.S. Bankcorp has stopped taking applications for student loans and JPMorgan-Chase has cut back, as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has begun examining college loan programs and accepting complaints from students. We applaud the CFPB for helping to protect students and parents from predatory lenders, whose laps have been filled with the wealth of young Americans studying to give themselves a better future.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Those young Americans would have better futures if they had less sex. That’s why I approved a bill that would require teachers to warn their students that holding hands is a gateway sexual activity, and punish teachers who hold hands in schools.

Mitt in La MANHCA

Dear Mitt,

We doubt that warnings about holding hands will decrease teenage sexuality, and teen pregnancy is already at an all-time low. In fact, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto complained Friday that teenage boys are afraid to have sex because laws allow girls to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term but require boys to pay child support if girls do have children. He said this may lead men to refuse to be responsible fathers and husbands and employees in adulthood. We doubt that irresponsible teenage sexuality is that essential for male maturation. Instead, we suggest that teens are already getting the message on sexual responsibility and don’t need legislators and teachers to warn them about holding hands.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

We also need to repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That’s really the thing that’s hurting businesses the most. My guess is there are other things that we can do that have a higher priority in terms of what I, what I believe might need to be done. I think you know we need to create – that thing is a nuisance. It shouldn’t be the law.

Mitt in La MANHCA

Dear Mitt,

We suggest that businesses are because workers across the country still struggle to earn enough money to drive consumer demand. That includes women, who still earn only 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men in similar jobs. As 40% of working wives are now the primary breadwinners in their families, we fail to see how cutting their pay further will revive consumer demand and boost our economy.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

I didn’t write any of those letters. The first came from Virginia in NC, the second from the Tennessee Senate, and the last from Pete in MI. Why are you holding me responsible for what they said?

Mitt in La MANHCA

Dear Mitt,

As your campaign and your party spent the past three days holding President Obama responsible for Hilary Rosen’s comments about your wife, we thought this was the new standard for political dialogue. Indeed we thought it more than fair, as all of these letters came from elected Republicans or Republicans running for office, while Ms. Rosen neither holds nor is seeking elected office, nor is she an employee of the Obama administration or the Democratic Party.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

I was wondering why I hadn’t heard anything on the news about Mitt in La MANHCA saying those things. So how do I make Chef’s Hazelnut Waffles?

Craving Filberts in Blogistan

Dear Craving Filberts,

Thank you for noting that hazelnuts are often called filberts in England. As for the recipe, first put ⅔ cup of hazelnuts with 2 Tbsp of flour in a food processor and grind until fine. Then whisk the ground hazelnuts in a large bowl with 2 cups of all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup of cake flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, ½ baking soda, and ¾ tsp of salt. In a separate bowl, whisk 2¾ cups of buttermilk, ½ vegetable oil, 4 large eggs, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, and 1½ tsp of vanilla extract. Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, and let the batter rest for 20 minutes. Finally, follow the instructions for your waffle iron. Chef tops hers with maple syrup. Bon appétit!

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Sources:

Virginia in NC; CFPB examining student loan programs.

Senate in TN; teen pregnancy at all time low; teenage boys afraid to have sex.

Pete in MI; women earn 77 cents on the dollar as compared to men; 40% of working wives now primary breadwinners.

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Happy Sunday!

  • winterbanyan

    Wow. :lol: Touche! This different sets of rules for each party is something the GOP excel at. Nice to see them called on it.

    They say enough outrageous things, in fact do enough outrageous things, that we needn’t look beyond the politicians to the pundits to find plenty to criticize them for. They, OTOH, are reduced to picking on one pundit.

    Very clever!

    • NCrissieB

      Thank you. We thought it appropriate. Republicans have long played the game of Any Democrat Is Every Democrat, attributing to every elected Democrat or candidate the most objectionable comment by anyone associated with the Democratic Party. We think Mitt in La MANHCA should have to explicitly endorse or reject the outrageous comments of other Republicans as well.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • addisnana

    Too Clever! You had me scratching my head thinking, “What?” with all the Mitt in MANHCA.

    I wonder what plan B is for parents crossing the street with small children in Tennessee. If hand holding is forbidden will they hold onto an ear maybe? This law obviously wasn’t very well thought through.

    • NCrissieB

      We haven’t read the Tennessee Senate bill, but we think it would only require high school teachers to warn students about the ‘dangers’ of holding hands. We should note that we are thrilled to see that Tennesseeans have no other important problems for their legislators to address….

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • Jim W

        The Bill, SB3310, does not even go there. The legislature only hints at activity when they talk about sex. It provides no details for the teachers or students.

        • NCrissieB

          Then we’re definitely thrilled to see that Tennesseeans have no other important problems for their legislators to address vaguely without any substantive details…. ;-)

          Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • LI Mike

    I paid off my college debt in 1980. I remember paying $40 each month for 10 years. Those were the days.

    • NCrissieB

      College debt has become a crushing burden that leaves many graduates unable to afford a cars, homes, and the other elements of starting adult life. We hope the CFPB will help them ease that burden.

      Good morning! ::huggggggs::

    • winterbanyan

      My 40 yr old son just paid off his college debt. The cost of grad school is so high now he’s afraid to even start.

  • Gardener

    The GI Bill paid for my 3 semesters at junior college. Was enough then (’70-’71) to pay expenses, but I had in-district tuition……

    I don’t care for Willard. He’s mean to dogs!

    Best, G

    • NCrissieB

      We don’t care for Mitt in La MANHCA either, and we sympathize with his dog….

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com Norbrook

    When I went to college, I was able to leave with just $3000 in debt. Most of that was because I had to take an extra semester – my adviser had screwed up, and I needed an extra liberal arts course. :roll: I was able to do that because of a combination of savings, scholarships, state, and federal aid. Today, at least half those scholarships no longer exist, the state aid is a pittance, and the federal aid doesn’t even come close. I guarantee you that the savings wouldn’t have covered it, either. So I’d be looking at owing at least $30K, if not more, today walking out of the same colleges I went to.

    • NCrissieB

      We agree that federal and especially state financial aid has mostly dried up. Ironically, poor and middle-class children are better off attending Ivy League and similar schools, whose endowments let them educate students regardless of financial need, without loans. But there are only a relative handful of such schools, with only few thousand total seats available each year.

      For the rest, college has become increasingly loan-based and students graduate with a debt burden that blocks many opportunities.

      Good afternoon! ::hugggggs::