Apr 042020
 

The global coronavirus pandemic has fully arrived in the United States in general and the Washington DC metropolitan area in particular. Breaking with our usual local traditions regarding foreign visitors, however, we did not throw it a parade. And while its arrival did not completely reduce Washington to a ghost town, the streets of the Nation’s Capital indeed became mighty sparsely populated, and very quickly at that. Social distancing was no problem for me, though, since I live in Great Falls, Virginia, where my nearest neighbor’s home is about a hundred and fifty feet away from my front door. Entering my imported sports car within the confines of my garage, I drove, by myself, to a reserved parking space in […]

Mar 012020
 

Thursday evening after work, I stopped by the Round Robin Bar, as I often do. About halfway through my Macallan 18 on the rocks, Higganbotham slid into the booth next to me and tossed an envelope on the cocktail table. “Count it,” he said. I knew Higganbotham, as most Beltway insiders do, as a notorious Republican bag man and fixer, so his behavior was hardly surprising. “I will,” I dryly replied, “but not here. This is a consultation fee, I presume?” “You presume right,” he growled. “Take that money, finish your scotch quick and follow me. We’re going for a little ride.” Outside in front of the Willard Hotel, a black stretch limousine with darkly tinted passenger windows and federal […]

Oct 152019
 

As regular readers of this Web log know, I’m an Italian-American – my full name is Tom Collins Martini, and my father, now long retired, was a bartender at a Manhattan society hotel. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he invented a number of modern martini cocktails and named his children after the ones of which he was particularly proud. All of this explains why my brother, Rob Roy Martini, brought his wife and son over to my home in Great Falls, Virginia on Monday, October 14 for dinner – to celebrate Columbus Day, an American holiday celebrated by Italian-Americans since 1792 and made an official federal holiday in 1971. Now, I would be the first to admit that we Italian-Americans […]

Aug 242018
 

Regular readers of this Web log would probably not be surprised to learn that I know Q. Actually, it would be surprising if they were surprised to learn that I know Q. In fact, I’ve known Q for years, and there are a couple of common misconceptions about him that I feel I should correct, right up front. First of all, Q isn’t a committee, a cell or a cabal – Q is a single individual. Secondly, although he’s not currently a high-ranking military officer (as many claim), it is definitely true that he used to be one – a major general – but he’s retired now. His present position is serving as the Assistant Administrator of the Directorate on […]

Jul 202018
 

This afternoon, I had a consultation with Dr. Runkkari Paskanaama, Special Attaché for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Finland here in Washington. He brought a bottle of Lakka, the Finnish Lapponia Cloudberry liqueur, which isn’t easy to find in DC. “From the embassy’s own stock,” he confided as he placed it on the coffee table by the couch. For a moment, he turned to gaze past the couch, out the picture window behind it, which overlooks the White House. A visible shudder ran through him, after which he shook his head and took a seat in the chair immediately in front of my desk. “Mr. Collins,” he began, leaning close toward me, “Ambassador Kauppi asks that I convey our […]