“I was the one who recommended Ms. Scarlet as the model for the Bippie Award,” Professor Plum announced proudly. “I didn’t even need glasses.”

He may not know what “20/20 hindsight” means, but he read the mail. (More)

Ms. Scarlet also noted that Professor Plum was a bit biased, before the two of them left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar mail room, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

The Professor of Astrology Janitor was also exercising 20/20 hindsight as he pondered whether to call Chef’s final bet. She had raised before the flop, and he called with the Five and Six of Hearts. When the Seven and Nine of Hearts fell with the King of Clubs on the flop, he bet his inside straight-flush draw. Chef called, and Eight of Diamonds on the turn gave the Professor of Astrology Janitor bet a Nine-high straight with a flush still possible. He offered a pot-sized bet, and again Chef called. Thinking she might have a suited Jack-Ten for a higher straight, he only checked as the Ace of Spades fell on the river. Chef’s bet, half the size of the pot, left him all but certain she had that Jack-Ten and wishing he’d folded his Five-Six when the hand began. He began his plaintive mewling has he folded his baby straight. Chef graciously showed her Jack and Ten of Hearts before heading to the kitchen to make Chocolate Macadamia Muffins, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I didn’t hear anything in General David Petraeus’ classified testimony that would lead me to withdraw my criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. I knew the Benghazi tragedy was a terrorist attack from the beginning. People don’t go to spontaneous demonstrations with mortars and RPGs. There were people who were at the consulate who flew to Germany the next day. They knew there was no spontaneous demonstration. They knew that. And they were interviewed. So there should have been no doubt whatsoever of that. I’m concerned about four Americans who died. Their families need to know the circumstances, why it happened, how it happened, and where responsibility lies. That’s all. That’s all that we’re seeking. We’re not seeing a confrontation with anyone. We’re not trying to quote ‘take on anyone.’

John in AZ

Dear John,

We congratulate you on your ex post facto certainty. However, we caution that you and other Republicans should be wary of hindsight bias, the human tendency to see past events in light of knowledge gained later. Vague reports of instability in Benghazi seem crystal clear in light of later events, but those responsible for security planning did not and could not have that same clarity. And while you now say you knew this was a terrorist attack “from the beginning,” we all tend to credit ourselves with knowing the past more quickly and clearly than we did at the time.

What’s more, even if you did know that at the time, there were sound security and law enforcement reasons for the Obama administration to conceal how much evidence they had in the first hours and days after the attack. We agree that the families need to know the circumstances, but neither the families nor you nor the public had an immediate need for specific information that might tip off suspects or compromise intelligence sources and methods.

Finally, we note that you attributed demands for a full investigation of intelligence failures that allowed the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to “lingering bitterness over the outcome of the [2000] election.” Perhaps it’s the unusual quiet in the mail room, but we think we hear the faint voice of a pot condemning the hue of a kettle.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

If the pot’s criticism moves the kettle to tears, would that be a hue and cry? Also, how do I make Chef’s Chocolate Macadamia Muffins, and is it true that she’s baking them this morning in response to a request from one of the Squirrel’s Twitter friends?

Punnily Hungry in Blogistan

Dear Punnily Hungry,

As the French might say, le gémissement. (“Le Groan.”) As for Chef’s Chocolate Macadamia Muffins, yes, she is baking them at the request of one of the Squirrel’s Twitter friends. To make your own, first line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and set aside. Then, in a large bowl, combine 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt, then stir in ¾ cup of chopped macadamias and ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels. In a small bowl, combine the melted chocolate, ¾ cup low-fat sour cream, two eggs, and ⅓ cup of canola oil, then stir the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture until the flour is moist. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about ¾, and bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick pressed into the center emerges clean. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool fully before serving. Bon appétit!



John in AZ; hindsight bias; sound security and law enforcement reasons; “lingering bitterness over the outcome of the election.”

One of the Squirrel’s Twitter friends.


Happy Sunday!