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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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”