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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 — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
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.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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.'”