“I want to propose an idea,” Professor Plum said as he strode into the mail room. “And I want to object to it.”

He read the mail. (More)

Professor Plum then explained his objection to his proposal, with such vigor and at such length that we feared he might faint from the effort, until Ms. Scarlet took his hand and they left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, 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 returned to pondering his own proposal. Chef had opened the hand with a small raise. Holding only a pair of Sixes, the Professor of Astrology Janitor decided to test the waters by pushing a stack of twenty chips into the pot. “What a good idea!” Chef replied with a smile as she pushed two stacks toward the center of the table. Having found the metaphorical waters icier than expected, the Professor of Astrology Janitor decided Chef had either a bigger pair or a suited Ace-King. A bigger pair made her a huge favorite, and she was only a slight underdog with Ace-King. Deciding a lowly pair of Sixes was not worth the rest of his chips, he folded and began his plaintive mewling. Chef left for the kitchen to make Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

This week I again offered a bill that would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling on his own authority, unless both houses of Congress pass and the president signs a bill to block the increase. Senate Majority Leader Reid agreed and moved to schedule a vote on my bill. I’d like to object. What we’re talking about here is a perpetual debt ceiling grant to the president. Matters of this level of controversy always require sixty votes and so I asked my friend the Majority Leader if he would modify his consent agreement to set the threshold for this vote at sixty. As he did not agree, I objected to my bill. By demanding the power to raise the debt limit whenever he wants by as much as he wants, President Obama showed what he’s really after is assuming unprecedented power to spend taxpayer dollars without any limit. Don’t you agree?

Mitch in KY

Dear Mitch,

We agree that you may have made history by being the first Senator to filibuster his own bill. As for your claim that President Obama wants “unprecedented power,” we note that Article I of the U.S. Constitution tasks Congress with authorizing all government spending, and with borrowing money when that spending exceeds federal revenues. Thus, the Executive Branch can only spend money to meet existing legal obligations authorized in appropriations bills passed by Congress. For most of U.S. history, Congress authorized specific bonds to borrow money for specific projects. During World War I, Congress passed the Liberty Bond Acts that established a total debt ceiling for war bonds, and the Public Debt Acts of 1939 and 1941 consolidated that ceiling for all U.S. bonds and authorized the Treasury Department to issue bonds up to that limit. The notion that, without a debt ceiling, the president could spend as much as he wished on whatever he wished … is simply a myth. That said, we are grateful the Senate provides health insurance, as Sen. Claire McCaskill – who was presiding at the time – said your decision to filibuster your bill gave her whiplash.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Will Chef’s Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake give me whiplash? And how do I make it?

Rubbernecking for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Rubbernecking for Breakfast,

We have had no reports of neck strain arising from Chef’s Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, as the resident faculty, staff, and students at the main campus know better than to look for seconds.

To make it, first cream together 1 cup of softened butter and 2 cups of sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Then beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, and stir in 1 cup of sour cream and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine 1-and-5/8 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp of salt, then stir into the batter until blended. Fold in 1 cup of blueberries, and spoon half of the batter into a greased and floured 9″ Bundt pan. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup each of brown sugar and chopped pecans with 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, then sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the batter in the Bundt pan. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over that, and use a knife to swirl the layers together. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes, until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack, then tip upside down on a serving dish, tap the top to release the cake, and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Bon appétit!



Mitch in KY; unprecedented power; existing legal obligations; Liberty Bond Acts; Public Debt Acts; simply a myth.


Happy Sunday!