“There are only thirteen House work days left until Christmas,” Professor Plum said, “and I haven’t even begun my shopping.”

At least he found time to read the mail. (More)

“I need to give you my list first, dear,” Ms. Scarlet said, taking his hand in hers. They then left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they spend weekends drinking thinking on the BPI motto: Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was almost out of chips when he looked at a pair of black Jacks. “I’m all-in,” he said. He counted his chips and Chef called with her Ace and Nine of Hearts. The Ace of Spades and Ten and Six of Hearts on the flop left him a 19:1 underdog, but his luck changed when the Jack of Diamonds fell on the turn. His three Jacks now led Chef’s pair of Aces and he needed to dodge only eight Hearts, as the Jack of Hearts would give him four-of-a-kind to Chef’s flush and either of the remaining two Aces would give him a full house to Chef’s three-of-a-kind. The Deuce of Diamonds on the river doubled his stack, but Chef still held a commanding lead and the Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Apple Bacon Butternut Squash Hash, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I understand why immigration reform advocates wanted to talk to me, but occupying my Bakersfield office wasn’t the way to do it. Even so, my wife and I met with them and I explained that House Republicans just don’t have time to pass an immigration reform bill this year. We have only thirteen workdays left and it’s very hard to do anything in thirteen days. Maybe next year.

Kevin in CA

Dear Kevin,

We commend you on meeting with the reform advocates, though we question your excuse for inaction. For example, President John Kennedy spoke to the nation, secured a unanimous vote from the Organization of American States, imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, and convinced the Soviets to withdraw their missiles from that island, all in thirteen days. Similarly, within just thirteen weekdays after the Syrian gas attack at Ghouta, President Obama asked Congress to approve military action and then negotiated a deal with Russia for Syria to destroy her chemical weapons.

We think the House could do quite a lot in the thirteen workdays remaining on the House schedule this year. You could not only not pass the Senate immigration reform bill, but also not pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. You might even find time to not agree with the Senate on a budget, thus not averting yet another series of continuing resolution and debt ceiling standoffs early next year. Alternatively, with 51 days remaining on the real calendar this year, we suggest House Republicans could revise your schedule and pass all of these bills. But that would mean abandoning your party’s policy of obstructionism, and of course there’s not enough time for that.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Please tell me it won’t take thirteen days to make Chef’s Apple Bacon Butternut Squash Hash.

Impatient for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Impatient for Breakfast,

Chef assures us that you can prepare this in less than thirteen days. First put 2 cups of diced fresh butternut squash under the broiler for 10-15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes, until the squash begins to brown. While the squash is broiling, cook 4 strips of bacon in a skillet until crispy, and remove. Put the browned squash in the skillet along with 1 cup of diced Granny Smith apples and fry them in the bacon fat. When the apples begin to soften, remove the skillet from the heat and add the crumbled bacon along with ¼ cup of chopped green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bon appétit!



Kevin in CA; Cuban missile crisis; Syrian gas attack on Ghouta; negotiated a deal with Russia for Syria to destroy chemical weapons.


Happy Sunday!