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Today Brad Schlozman, former interim U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, former senior political appointee in the Civil Rights Division, and currently a senior functionary in the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys (where he has supervisory responsibility for all U.S. attorneys) had his moment in the limelight. He was subjected to intense examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Schlozman didn’t come off well in the process. Indeed, he seemed to be working hard to validate every charge leveled against him – dishonest, evasive, unprofessional. His answers included subtle evasions, misrepresentations, lies and even some now-top-this-one whoppers (in the latter category, his response to a query about his opinion of ACORN was a sidesplitter).
But watching Brad Schlozman sent me thinking. No doubt about it, if Hollywood makes a feature out of the U.S. Attorney scandal, it shouldn’t be an “All the President’s Men” sort of thing. It should be an animated feature along the lines of “Madagascar.” And the rights have to go to Walt Disney. So, if Walt Disney, the master of the cartoon feature which captures the essence of human traits in zoomorphic forms, were to deal with Brad Schlozman, what, exactly, would he be? I submit this as a question to my loyal readership, inviting your responses by email.
And here are a couple of options to ponder. The flashing eyes in the face of stern questioners reflect a small furry mammal known for its flightiness – say a ferret (Rudy Giuliani’s favorite animal) or a weasel. But the tendency to lie, shamelessly and without remorse, and to dump everything that he did on his colleagues – now that’s reptilian – say something that slithers through an autumnal garden, a snake or a salamander, perhaps?
We all have our animal equivalents, I suppose. Some fifteen years back, I was working on a transaction out in Central Asia and I heard some of my local friends talking about me. They were referring to me as the “morž,” which was not at that point a word in my Russian vocabulary. A quick check of the dictionary, and I discovered that I was a walrus. I got the label for taking a shower in the dead of winter even when there was no hot water. That sat about right with me. I identify with walruses.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”