“I was gonna wear a transparent shirt,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room, “but I got the memo.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Ms. Scarlet giggled at her beau and they left together 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 made a transparent attempt to build a pot by merely calling the big blind with a pair of red Kings. Or Chef and the Squirrel seemed to think so, as Chef simply called and the Squirrel checked.

The flop brought the Ace of Clubs and the Sixes of Spades and Diamonds. Chef checked and the Squirrel offered a half-pot-sized bet. The Professor of Astrology Janitor guessed that the Squirrel, in the big blind, would have raised pre-flop with an Ace. Still, the Squirrel might have just checked a weak, unsuited Ace, so the Professor of Astrology Janitor was not confident enough to raise. He called … and Chef promptly put in a pot-sized raise.

The Squirrel folded and the Professor of Astrology Janitor considered his options. Chef rarely check-raised a three-way pot unless she had at least something. Here that meant an Ace for Aces-up, or a Six for three-of-a-kind. Maybe one of each, although she was more likely to call with a full house, hoping to win a bigger pot. Regardless, she had something better than his Kings-and-Sixes.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor folded and began his plaintive mewling, and Chef went to the kitchen to make Transparent Pie, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

The House Intelligence Committee Majority’s move to release to the House of Representatives its allegations against the FBI and DOJ is a transparent attempt to undermine those agencies, the Special Counsel, and Congress’ investigations. It also risks public exposure of sensitive sources and methods for no legitimate purpose.

FBI and DOJ officials did not “abuse” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.

In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government. DOJ met the rigor, transparency, and evidenciary basis needed to meet FISA’s probable cause requirement, by demonstrating:

— contemporaneous evidence of Russia’s election interference;
— concerning Russian links and outreach to Trump campaign officials;
— Page’s history with Russian intelligence; and,
— Page’s suspicious activities in 2016, including in Moscow.

Oh, and the FBI and DOJ did not base their investigation on the dossier prepared by Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS. Their investigation began in July 2016, months before they learned of the dossier. They did reference the dossier when they requested the FISA warrant in October, and the DOJ informed the Court accurately that Steele was hired by politically-motivated US persons and entities and that his research appeared intended for use “to discredit” Trump’s campaign. And in multiple FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting.

Finally, the Majority attempts to paint DOJ attorney Bruce Ohr and FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as politically-biased and part of some grand conspiracy. But Ohr was not involved the FBI/DOJ investigation of Russian intelligence ties to the Trump campaign, and he played no role in the DOJ’s application for the FISA warrant. Similarly, the Majority cherry-picks the texts of Strzok and Page, highlighting those that criticize Trump and omitting those that criticize Democrats. The Majority also did not mention that Strzok helped draft FBI Director James Comey’s public declaration of Hillary Clinton’s “extreme carelessness” in handling classified information — a statement that greatly damaged Clinton’s public reputation in the days just prior to the presidential election.

There’s more, so you really should read the entire memo that I prepared with other Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, which was finally released yesterday.

Adam in CA

Dear Adam,

We commend your and your colleagues’ arduous work, both in preparing and also in pushing for the release of this memo. Unlike Devin Nunes and the GOP members, you took great care to cooperate with the FBI and DOJ and redact sensitive information. And unlike Nunes, you documented your facts with extensive footnotes, many citing publicly-available sources. We agree that Nunes’ memo is a politically-motivated attack on the FBI, DOJ, and special counsel Robert Mueller. We are grateful for your forceful-yet-factual response.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Footnotes to publicly-available sources? Now that’s what I call transparency.

Is that why Chef made Transparent Pie? Come to think of it, what is Transparent Pie?

Transparently Curious in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Transparent Pie is a simple pie filling made with eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Chef uses the recipe at the link below, although she often mixes berries or fruit into the filling. Or you can serve those on top with a dab of whipped cream. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

Adam in CA.

Transparent Pie.


Happy Sunday!