“Did you know half of Coney Island is in New York’s 9th Congressional District?” Professor Plum asked, grinning.

We guessed the punch line. (More)

Ms. Scarlet took Plum’s hand and led him off to join the rest of the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, to spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”). Fortunately, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was not distracted by the latest shiny bauble during the staff poker game. He was focused on the task at hand, and actually up a few chips. Chef was leafing through breakfast recipes and had just let out a snicker when the Professor of Astrology Janitor put in a hefty opening raise. She peeked down at a pair of Tens and called. She put the cookbook aside when the flop came Ace-Ten-Six. The Professor of Astrology Janitor bet as expected. Chef appeared to ponder for a moment, then called. Another Ace came on the turn, and again the Professor of Astrology Janitor bet. Sure he had an Ace, doubting he had Ace-Ten or Ace-Six for a bigger full house, and willing to risk the slim odds of him making a full house on the last card, Chef called again. When the fourth Ten came on the river, Chef didn’t twitch. Even if the Professor of Astrology Janitor had Ace-Six, her four Tens beat his full house. He bet again, and Chef raised all-in. The Professor of Astrology Janitor called and turned over the other two Aces.

Somewhere in Hell, a snowball fight commenced. Somewhere in Alaska, Governor Airspace uttered an intelligent statement.

Here in South Blogistan, Chef calmly congratulated the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s outstanding hand and his victory this week, then headed to the kitchen to make breakfast … snickering. Hoping against hope, your lowly mail room clerk turned to the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’m glad Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats took my advice and asked Anthony Weiner to resign. If they’re serious about draining the ethical swamp, there are certain times that leaders need to step up and tell their own they should leave. Do we really need an ethics investigation to determine whether this guy’s a creep?

Reince in WI

Dear Reince,

We note that the New York Times reported last week that President Obama is considering a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan in the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death. President Obama will reportedly also press Afghan President Hamid Karzi to get more of his own forces involved in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, so U.S. troops can come home sooner. We mention this in case you missed it.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I don’t condone Anthony Weiner’s activity, and I think he should resign. We’ve got a lot of serious challenges in this country, and a lot of work for Congress to do. The last thing we need to do is get enmeshed in a discussion about Congressman Weiner and his Twitter activities.

Eric in VA

Dear Eric,

We note that National Public Radio reports the exceptional floods, tornadoes, and droughts of April and May, followed by the intense heat of June, will reduce the fall harvest and drive up crop prices. Economists said this year’s harvest will not meet the demand for corn – at a record high because of bio-energy, livestock feed, and exports – and meat prices will likely jump by another 7%, on top of the 8% increase already reported by the American Farm Bureau Federation. This will hit the poor and unemployed especially hard, as most of their limited budgets goes for basic necessities. Again, we mention this in case you missed it.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the support of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. He should seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress. The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable. This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House – and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important – his and his family’s well-being. Anthony’s inappropriate behavior has become an insurmountable distraction to the House and our work for the American people. With a heavy heart, I call on Anthony to resign.

Nancy in CA, Debbie in FL, Steve in NY

Dear Nancy, Debbie, and Steve,

We concede that resignations can sometimes have positive effects. For example, while the National Institutes of Health had reviewed reams of scientific data on the cancer risks of formaldehyde, they had not issued any warning. Many suspected that was because David Koch, one of whose companies is among the nation’s top producers of formaldehyde, was on the NIH cancer board. Under intense public pressure, the NIH asked Koch to resign. He left in October, and this week the NIH released a report listing formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Yet again, we mention this in case you missed it.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Please say Chef’s breakfast recipe will not include hot dogs. And has anyone mentioned that wiener (the hot dog) and Weiner (the congressman) are not spelled the same. The former derives from the German name for the city we know as Vienna: Wien. The latter derives from the German word for wine: Wein.

Call Off the Dogs in Blogistan

Dear Call Off the Dogs,

We acknowledge your etymological accuracy, though we’re not sure pronouncing his name “whiner” would have helped this week. But we do have good news. It seems Chef also noticed that, and she is making Eggs Florentine, a recipe that includes wine and not hot dogs. To make it, sauté 1 cup of fresh spinach in 2 Tablespoons of melted butter until the spinach begins to wilt. Then add 3 cups of heavy whipping cream, ¼ cup of Pinot Grigio, 1 clove of minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the sauce thickens. Next split and toast two English muffins, poach four eggs, and heat four slices of Canadian bacon. Top each English muffin half with a slice of bacon, a poached egg, some shredded cheddar cheese, and the spinach-cream sauce. Bon appétit!



Reince in WI; Obama considering faster withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Eric in VA; extreme weather will drive up food prices.

Nancy, Debbie, and Steve; NIH lists formaldehyde as a carcinogen.


Happy Sunday!