Professor Plum won the resident faculty Scrabble tournament. “I took the final lead with UNITED,” he said. “On a triple word score, for 21 points.”

Ms. Scarlet coughed quietly. “Actually, you spelled UNTIED.”

He shrugged. “No difference in Scrabble.”

The BPI Squirrel texted: “Big difference in government.”

The Squirrel read the mail. (More)

The BPI Squirrel has done well in hiding the mail. Professor Plum and Ms. Scarlet no longer stride into the mail room to gloat over knowing your lowly mail room clerk’s Sunday topic. Instead they gloat over their continuing run of victories in the various resident faculty board game tournaments. And we never told the Squirrel not to read the mail. So we really have no cause to complain, unlike the Professor of Astrology Janitor with his continuing run of defeats in the staff poker game.

But this week he upset that streak, combining well-played hands with well-timed bluffs to amass such a pile of chips that he had to change how he stacked them. Sadly, he’s not used to taller stacks, and kept knocking them over. Chef offered swap his penny chips for nickel or dime chips. “But that would put my eggs in fewer baskets,” he said. We  saw the proverbial light bulb click over Chef’s head, and she scurried to the kitchen to make Eggs in a Basket for breakfast, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I hope you liberals learned your lesson last week. Americans don’t want more government. That’s why I want states to opt out of Social Security and let people have private retirement accounts. Three Texas counties tried it in 1981, and it worked here.

Rick in TX

Dear Rick,

We learned some lessons last week, but we doubt the lesson you propose. Judging the vox populi by exit polls in midterms is like waiting for the women to go for the desserts before polling the table about who washes the Thanksgiving dishes. Fewer voters vote in midterms, and those who do are always more conservative.

As for your proposal to let states opt out of Social Security, we see two problems. First, the Congressional Budget Office found that those county employees in Texas saved less for retirement than they would have with Social Security. Second, it requires strict laws on where retirees can live, lest people who worked in opt-out states retire to opt-in states and collect Social Security. We think laws on where retirees can live sounds like more government … not less.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Americans do want less government. That’s why I’m going to kill the high-speed rail project between Madison and Milwaukee and spend the $810 million in federal grants on more roads.

Scott in WI

Dear Scott,

We are confused. How is spending $810 million on roads any less government than spending $810 million on high-speed rail? Moreover, that $810 million federal grant explicitly excludes spending for more roads. Instead, as that money has already been accepted and some already spent, your plan would simply force Wisconsin taxpayers to repay the grant and the money would be spent to create jobs in other states.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

You don’t get it. Letting people ride trains between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. Passenger rail has no future in Ohio, and I’ll cancel our $400 million high-speed project paid for with federal money. That train is dead.

John in OH

Dear John,

We wonder why, in a state with 10% unemployment, you want to cancel a federally-funded project that will create thousands of jobs and make it easier for people to travel in your state. High-speed rail would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but as you deny human involvement in climate change you won’t care about that. Looking for the solution to 21st century transportation and energy problems in technology of the 19th and 20th centuries is, well, “lazy and sloppy.”


Dear Ms. Crissie,

If the newly-elected governors of Wisconsin and Ohio don’t want the federal stimulus money, I’ll happily take it to use here in New York.

Andrew in NY

Dear Andrew,

We applaud your commitment to the people of New York. However, you may have some competition.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

He sure will. Look, we Republican governors hate the idea of federal stimulus money, until it’s available. Then we jump all over it. The three of us alone have taken over $2.6 billion in Build America Bonds. All that money can’t go to states with Democratic governors.

Rick in TX, Haley in MS, Mitch in IN

Dear Rick, Haley, and Mitch,

Yes, allowing states with Democratic governors to use stimulus money rejected by Republican governors might create more jobs in states with Democratic governors. That might make more Americans vote for Democratic governors. Clearly your actions are guided by some higher principle.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

These Republican governors seem to have put all of their political eggs in one basket, labeled: SCRAMBLED. (That would be 48 points on a triple word score, by the way.) Do I win the Scrabble tournament? Or at least the recipe for Chef’s Eggs in a Basket?

Scrabbling for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Scrabbling,

We can’t speak for the rules of the resident faculty Scrabble tournament, but you have won Chef’s recipe for Eggs in a Basket. First brush the cups of a six-cup muffin dish with butter, then line each cup with a wonton square. Place another wonton square in each, angled so the points are spaced evenly around the tops. Fry six strips of bacon, then chop and sprinkle them in the bottom of each cup. Crack an egg into each cup, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, then thinly slice a toasted red pepper and use two slices across each cup as the basket’s handle. Bake in a 375° oven for 15-20 minutes, until the egg white is solid and the yolk still soft. Let sit for 5 minutes before carefully removing the baskets from the dish. Bon appétit!



Rick in TX; midterm electorate always more conservative; Texas employees saved less.

Scott in WI; federal grant would be returned.

John in OH; Ohio unemployment; climate change denial; lazy and sloppy.

Andrew in NY.

Rick in TX, Haley in MS, Mitch in IN.


Happy Sunday