Ms. Scarlet won the BPI Faculty Twister Tournament, again. That wheel spun well, at least. (More)

The BPI Faculty Twister Tournament has become a hollowed tradition, as most of the resident faculty wisely chose not to play, citing a list of ailments that sounded like an episode of House, M.D. When Professor Plum landed amply on his bottom, unable to reach Right Hand Green, the cheers rose up from the wine cellar library where the resident faculty spend the weekends drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

The staff offered our congratulations and Chef awarded Ms. Scarlet the coveted Golden Brown Pretzel, coveted because it was the only pretzel left in the jar, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor had foregone his usual snacks during the staff poker game. He was on a winning streak and thought eating might disturb his concentration. Apparently he didn’t weigh the risks of not eating, nor of trying to bluff Chef on an Ace-high flop. He guessed she had raised with a big pair in hand, and he was right. She turned up a pair of Aces, and he began his plaintive mewling. That sent Chef to the kitchen to make a Wagon Wheel Breakfast Pie, and leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I don’t know why you liberals want to raise taxes. Tax increases only makes the situation worse, and at the end of the day it has the exact opposite effect that we would think that it would have. Fewer revenue dollars.

At the end of the day the fact of the matter is we’ve spent more money than we’ve been taking in. We do not have a taxing problem. We don’t have a revenue problem. We actually have a spending problem. So if you increase taxes in order to spend more money, you’ve not solved the problem, you’ve only dug a deeper hole.

Tim in SC

Dear Tim,

We think you have mistaken the two parties’ fiscal strategies. The Republican strategy is to reduce revenues and borrow money to raise spending. That dug a deeper hole under President Ronald Reagan as the federal debt nearly tripled, and under President George W. Bush as the debt nearly doubled yet again. The Democratic strategy is to raise revenues and control spending. That brought us a balanced budget under President Clinton. Or perhaps we misunderstood, and you meant your own party when you said “We’ve spent more money than we’ve been taking in.” If so, we apologize for the error.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I have heard from quite a few concerned seniors and veterans in the last few days. The concern stems from the President’s suggestion that Social Security and other benefits won’t get paid in the absence of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. This is a scare tactic, pure and simple.

Spending on Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits and our troops has already been authorized by Congress, and the President has the authority to continue funding these priorities. If he chooses not to, it will be his decision and his alone.

As Sheriff, I always had a contingency plan – hope for the best, but plan for the worst. My hope is that the President won’t play games with your Social Security check, but his current posturing doesn’t inspire much confidence. Instead of just throwing in the towel and hoping it all works out, Congressman Webster and I are taking action to make sure that seniors and our troops continue to get all that they have earned.

The legislation we introduced would not leave it up to chance. It would force the President and Treasury Secretary to prioritize remaining revenues to ensure that the troops get paid, that Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits continue to be paid, and that America continues to pay its debt.

There clearly won’t be enough revenue coming in to pay for everything in the federal budget, but there will be enough to pay for these priorities.

Richard in FL

Dear Richard,

We think you have mistaken Articles I and II in the Constitution. Article I specifies the duties and authority of the Legislative Branch, which includes the power of the purse. Article II specifies the duties and authority of the Executive Branch, which includes signing or vetoing bills, including authorizations bills. As a member of the U.S. House, you are in the Legislative Branch, so it’s your job to write a budget and collect enough taxes or borrow enough money to pay for the spending in that budget. As the Supreme Court overturned the line-item veto, the president is not allowed to pick and choose among authorized budget items. As you promised to bring “Constitution-based principles back to Washington,” you might want to read the document.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Your constitutional argument may be too complex for my colleague from Florida. Let’s try a game show instead.

Ted in FL

Dear Ted,

We agree that is much easier. Thank you.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

That Wheel of Misfortune is grim. I hope Chef’s Wagon Wheel Breakfast Pie is easier to stomach. How do I make it?

Wheely Hungry in Blogistan

Dear Wheely Hungry,

Chef’s Wagon Wheel Breakfast Pie is very easy to stomach, and easy to make. First thaw 1½ cups of frozen hash browns and spread them in the bottom of a 7″ pie plate. Combine 3 Tablespoons of softened cream cheese, 2 Tablespoons of milk, 1 chopped green onion, and a dash of salt and black pepper, and spread that over the potatoes. Next cut 4 links of breakfast sausage in half lengthwise, and place them over the potatoes like the spokes of a wheel. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup of Bisquick, 1 egg, a dash of nutmeg, and 2 Tablespoons of milk until smooth, then pour the batter between the sausages. Finally, sprinkle with a dash of paprika and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Bon appétit!


Tim in SC; debt tripled under Reagan and doubled under Bush; budget balanced under Clinton.

Richard in FL; Supreme Court overturned line-item veto; Constitution-based principles.

Ted in FL.


Happy Sunday!