As an alert Blogistani noted, your lowly mail room clerk was not really in the mail room last week. Your lowly mail room clerk is still not in the mail room, so we cannot prove that Ms. Scarlet will look fetching in those new boots. If she gets them on. (More)

We also cannot prove that the BPI Squirrel made a royal flush this week in the staff poker game, or that this once-in-a-lifetime hand collapsed the full house held by the Professor of Astrology Janitor. Similarly, we cannot prove that the Janitor began his plaintive mewling, or that Chef scurried to the kitchen to lay out a common German breakfast. None of that left us alone with time to review the week’s correspondence, because we’re not yet back in the mail room.

To say we were in the mail room would be a lie, and as Mark Twain noted a lie would be halfway around the world before the truth put its boots on. In the spirit of half-truths, we admit that we are a quarter of the way round the world, with no boots….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Germany isn’t halfway around the world? Did they move it closer?

Geographically Challenged in Blogistan

Dear Geographically Challenged,

We suppose that depends on where one is. If you live in Hawaii, then yes, Germany is roughly halfway around the world. But your lowly mail room clerk lives in South Blogistan, only six time zones behind Germany, so we are at present only a quarter of the way around the world. With no boots.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Okay, you’ve mentioned it twice so obviously there is a story behind the “no boots” bit. Would you like to share it?

Considering Footwear in Blogistan

Dear Considering Footwear,

We would be delighted to share, though it is less a story than an admission that, in planning for this journey, your lowly mail room clerk neglected to plan for three salient facts. First, snow is cold. Second, snow is often deeper than the soles of aerobic shoes. Third, melting snow is cold and wet. We leave the rest of the story to the reader’s imagination.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

That sounds almost as cold as requesting a $48 billion earmark to funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country. Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) proposed that in the latest budget bill. It’s redistribution on steroids. The project director, Lamar Mickens, wrote a “manifesto” (I put it in quotes so you’ll know it’s scary socialism) saying this is Phase One of a long term plan to take from the rich and give to the poor. Clearly Cleaver has not gotten the memo that we’re in a financial crisis.

Michael in MO

Dear Michael,

Thus, a quarter of the way round the world and bootless, we meet the lie. Representative Cleaver’s website asks constituents to propose ideas for civic development, and publishes each idea offered. This project was among those ideas, but Rep. Cleaver never submitted a funding request for this project. As Rep. Cleaver noted, “Some ideas are absolutely crazy, but we don’t say to them, ‘You’re stupid and this is a crazy idea.’ So we put all of these requests up. People don’t like to be dismissed.”

We note that you could easily have checked whether this project was in fact submitted for funding, and as a journalist you had a duty to do so. Instead you posted a ill-informed guess that spread through the right wing media as if it were true, and you have not yet published a retraction or apology.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Why should Michael in MO apologize? This is Congressman Cleaver’s fault. It shows a level of contempt for transparency to post all the earmark requests and not delineate which ones he actually submitted. I could submit a $48 billion request to Congressman Cleaver. But who cares? What matters is what does the elected official think is a valuable use of taxpayer dollars.

Steve in D.C.

Dear Steve,

We wonder how one can find a “contempt for transparency” in a choice to publish every project proposed by a constituent. Representative Cleaver’s website clearly stated that these were projects suggested by others, that he did not request funding for every project suggested, and that not all of his funding requests would be included in the federal budget. Moreover, his site listed his budget request for this project as #######, meaning he requested no funding at all. But because you and others were gulled by a false story, Representative Cleaver shows a “contempt for transparency?” We suggest that common sense – a phrase your organization includes in its title – begins with checking one’s facts rather than believing ideologically convenient lies.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

What is a common German breakfast?

Commonly Hungry in Blogistan

Dear Commonly Hungry,

We cannot say what Chef will offer as we are a quarter of the way around the world, but we think it may be a platter with several sliced cold meats and cheeses, fresh baked rolls, butter, and jam. Bon appétit!

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

These boots are gorgeous, although I wouldn’t wear them in the snow. Perching on ice in stiletto heels might be dangerous.

Ms. Scarlet, in the Wine Cellar Library, with a Candlestick.

Dear Ms. Scarlet,

This is what happens when you let Professor Plum choose your boots, although we should note that many German and even more Parisian women wear high-heeled boots on the snow. We have no idea how they manage. Fortunately it doesn’t snow in South Blogistan.

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Sources:

Michael in MO.

Steve in D.C.

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Happy Sunday!