I am a temp filling in for Ms. Crissie. I come from a very progressive temp agency, I have a living wage and full benefits. (More)

It’s a great place for seniors who only need the occasional gig to supplement their Social Security and have Saturday free to work on a blog post.

The interview for the position was most unusual. I was asked if I played poker. “Not if I can help it,” I replied, but that didn’t knock me out of contention. Then I was asked if I could cook and would be able to share a breakfast recipe. “Yes, I could and I would.” In a burst of poor planning Ms. Crissie, the mail room clerk and the chef all decamped together. Maybe others left as well but I am new to this campus. I do like the motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”). In fact the wine is what made this all worthwhile. The wine bar being right next to the hot tub was a definite perk!

The job was described as routine correspondence. Routine my tush, have you seen these letters? The writers are from a parallel universe. I was told that this job involved Realworldia. I wasn’t told that the writers had escaped from the 13th century. If I was a 13th century magician I’d send them right back to my time. Anyway, the staff have been very supportive and most helpful. I’m particularly fond of Nancy and Michelle but them running across the mail room has left me with piles and not files. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to let the squirrels inside? I distinctly remember seeing files when I arrived. Here’s what we found in the piles:

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Dear Ms. Addisnana,

“I was actually on your side of this issue (climate change) when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” Well and I was on your side of the issue until my big oil donors got in touch with me. But, “Big Oil” isn’t really that big.” And besides, “environmentalists far outspent industry” in lobbying money. I read it in an article in a liberal magazine. “You get the MoveOn.org, the George Soros, the Michael Moores, all the Hollywood elites and all your good friends out there. Yeah, they sure do” outspend the oil industry. The bottom line is we can’t afford to deal with climate change right now. It’s too expensive.

James in OK

Dear James,

May I remind you that the top five oil companies made $1 trillion in profits from 2001 through 2011. That may not be “that big” to you but you must admit that it is serious money. However, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, environmental groups spent $22.4 million on lobbying efforts in 2009, while the energy industry spent $175 million. May I also refer you to research from Think Progress comparing industry/environmental groups that shows “8-to-1 on lobbying in 2009, 4-to 1 (or more) on advertising in 2009, 8-to-1 in donations to candidates and Congress members in 2010 cycle and 10-to-1 on independent election expenditures in 2010.” You were right the first time, that is until money started talking.

And the International Energy Agency explained last year, ”Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.” Pay now or pay more later is a tough choice for a politician but then at 78 maybe you aren’t overly concerned about the costs post 2020.

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Dear Ms. Addisnana

You may remember that last year I released “The Path to Prosperity” as the Republican Budget Plan for our great country. It was a bold plan to whack our deficit spending and give tax cuts to the richest Americans. Don’t people understand that in tough times we have to cut entitlement spending? This year I am trying again and adding a video this time. “We’re just going to keep doing it and doing it, to show that we’re serious and we’re committed and we have a vision and a plan.” “People are ready to be talked to like adults, not like children. They know that something is wrong. They know this government’s off its rails.” “Too many politicians fear the so-called third rails of politics. I’ve been hugging these third rails for years now, and I didn’t die. I’m trying to show my colleagues you can do this.”

Paul in WI

Dear Paul,

I’m tempted to ask you to keep hugging that rail while I check to see if the electricity is working but I am a non-violent person so we’ll leave it at the metaphorical stage.

Social security is a benefit plan that our workers pay into for their entire working lives it is not an ‘entitlement.’ The Century Foundation has ten reasons not to cut social security benefits that you might find an interesting read. “The poverty rate among the elderly has declined from over 35 percent before 1960 to about 9 percent today, largely because of reforms to Social Security that extended its coverage and enhanced benefit levels. Without Social Security, about 45 percent of the U.S. population aged 65 and over would be in poverty today.” And this; “Preventing federal debt from rising to unmanageable levels in the future will require significant revenue increases and spending reductions, coupled with fundamental reforms to America’s deeply flawed health care system—reforms that the new health care legislation takes important steps in advancing.” I think that the Affordable Care Act can and will reduce health care costs as its implementation continues. May I also point out that if you want people to work longer you might want to attend to the job creation promises you ran on instead of waging a myriad of culture wars. Thanks for writing though and keep hugging that rail.

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sources:

James Inhofe

Paul Ryan

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Dear Hungry Readers:

Now, if you still have an appetite left, here is the recipe for a breakfast casserole that can be made ahead and baked the next morning. At our house we call it the “ski casserole” because we had it first on mornings when we went skiing.

6 hard boiled eggs (peeled and sliced in eighths)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup medium white sauce (2Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk)
1/2 pound browned breakfast sausage crumbled

Mix it in a 1 quart casserole and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. This can be scaled up for crowds or the quantities adjusted to suit your tastes. Jimmy Dean maple sausage adds a nice flavor. The American Heart Association has not approved this recipe but they do approve of skiing.

Happy Sunday!