“Our time machine would work fine,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room, “if everyone would just say it works.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet 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”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor tried to apply that reasoning as he turned over his cards. “I have Aces and Kings.”

He had opened the pot with a raise, and Chef had called. The flop brought the Ace of Clubs and the King and Six of Hearts, the Professor of Astrology Janitor bet again, and Chef once again called. The Five of Diamonds on the turn prompted another bet-and-call, and both checked when the Four of Spades fell on the river. Then the Professor of Astrology Janitor declared he had top two pair, as he turned over the Six and Five of Clubs.

“You’re half-right,” Chef said with a chuckle as she revealed her cards. “One of us has Aces and Kings. Just not you.”

The Professor of Astrology somehow managed to giggle as he began his plaintive mewling, and Chef went to the kitchen to make Egg-Free Cheese Omelets and Toast, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

The President of the United States, Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief, and Leader of the Free World

Dear God-King,

We summarized your tantrum in our headline – ‘NBC Should Parrot My Lies’ – because that is exactly what you demand. Despite your repeated accusations, you have produced not a shred of evidence that President Obama ordered surveillance of you or your campaign staff.

While it’s possible that the FISA Court authorized surveillance of some Russian officials’ phones and, if you or your campaign staff called or were called by those Russian officials, those calls would have been recorded. However, we note that – if those officials were under surveillance – their calls to order pizza would also have been recorded. The recording of those calls does not mean President Obama ordered wiretaps of the pizzerias.

On the other hand, there is a mountain of evidence that Russia both hacked Democratic campaign officials and pushed propaganda targeting Hillary Clinton. The public record shows that you and your campaign staff repeated some of that propaganda. There is evidence that you or your staff knew about the propaganda in advance, because you and your staff teased some of those stories before they were published. And there is ample evidence of contact between members of your campaign and Russian officials, both at and after the Republican National Convention. Several of your current and former campaign staff have extensive business ties in Russia. Finally, many of your comments about NATO and other foreign policy issues are disturbingly compatible with Russia’s strategic interests.

As Joy-Anne Reid wrote this week:

Occam’s Razor is the logical principle that the simplest explanation is usually the best. And the notion that Trump’s inner circle is so laden with Russian nationals, Russian mob figures and people affiliated with Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin by accident is a hell of a stretch. Even his chief TV flak, Boris Ephstein, is a Russian émigré, who entered Trumpworld through his collegiate friendship with Trump’s son Eric. Ephstein was recently let go from the White House without explanation, and sorry but it’s hard to believe that it was because of his bullying personality in TV greenrooms, which has been Boris’ M.O. since he popped up on cable news in 2010.

Can all that we have heard thus far been a series of coincidences? Can it all be mere happenstance? Much simpler is the notion that members of Russia’s spy services saw an opportunity to recruit a useful idiot in Trump, given that his greed and lust for power matched that of the Russian oligarchs themselves.

As for the ‘fake news’ that predicted your electoral defeat, most of the polling aggregates predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote by about 5%. In fact she won the popular vote by 2%, and that 3% difference was within the polling margin of sampling error. That doesn’t mean the polls were “biased” or “fake.” It means their samples did not quite match the electorate.

Similarly, the New York Times model gave you roughly a 15% chance of winning the Electoral College. You did, but that does not prove the models were wrong. For example, NFL kicking statistics show there is a roughly 15% chance of missing a field goal when the line of scrimmage is the 18-yard line. If the kicker misses, that does not mean line of scrimmage was ‘really’ at midfield. It means the defenders were lucky and that 15% chance happened.

Simply, you got lucky in 2016. Part of that luck was cable and broadcast news networks that gave you hours of free airtime during the primaries, because they covered you as a outrageous joke. Part of that luck was an ongoing GOP voter suppression campaign targeting women, people of color, and young voters. Part of that luck was the media obsession with Clinton’s emails, truly “fake news” pushed by House Republicans and by FBI Director James Comey’s unprofessional statements, even as he declined to discuss his agency’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s meddling and your campaign’s Russian ties. And yes, part of your luck was Russia hacking the Democratic National Committee and other campaign officials, then publishing carefully-edited excerpts through WikiLeaks. All of that added up to your 15-percent-chance-predicted Electoral College victory … despite your as-predicted popular vote defeat.

We concede that, without direct evidence of collusion between your campaign and Russian intelligence officials, none of that means your campaign “cheated” or that your victory was not “legitimate.” But it also doesn’t mean the statistical predictions of the election were “fake news.” It means you were very lucky …

… and instead of expressing gratitude for your lucky win, you whine that the media refuse to treat your lies as truth. We conclude that, yet again, your narcissism and self-delusion are on full display.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Umm, how does Chef make Egg-Free Cheese Omelets and Toast?

Breakfast-free (so far) in Blogistan

Dear Breakfast-free (so far),

Chef butters slices of bread, grills them on a griddle, and sprinkles cheese on top after turning. In other words, Egg-Free Omelets and Toast are … open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Associated Press

God-King; Joy-Anne Reid; polling aggregates predicted Clinton win by 5%; New York Times model Trump 15% chance; she won the popular vote by 2%; NFL kicking statistics.


Happy Sunday!