The Daily Spam Report 1/29: “The most happiest woman on earth”

smiley-faceHappy Wednesday everyone. I’m sorry I missed yesterday but I was out of town for a story set to air on Monday.

However, I’m making it up to you with today’s submission to The Spam Report. You all know I give points for creativity and enjoy the flair that some of these come with.

Set aside our collective concerns about the spelling and grammar which is always a clear tip-off that something is awry and let’s look at the meat of this note.

So, our note is from “Mrs. Mary Susan Derrick” and she says she was one of “those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me.” In fact, she asserts she’s out $50,000 trying to get them to pay.

She says she went to Washington then to get her money. Why exactly she went there instead of to Nigeria, I’m unclear, but while there, she met an agent with the FBI and a member of the “COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE in Europe.” They told her she was being scammed and then, they took her to the “paying bank” where she received $15 million in compensation funds.

Now, Mrs. Mary Susan Derrick is the “the most happiest woman on earth.”

Of course, she is, but wait, she’s not writing to gloat, but to give me some advice.

“You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your funds is with them, it is not in anyway with them they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.”

This is brilliant stuff. I’m supposed to contact Mr. Kelvin Williams with the Compensation Award House. The only problem, well at least the biggest problem, is that the feds identified this as a scam back in 2009 and it has not gotten any less scammier in the four-plus years since. I think I just made up a word: “scammier.”

Anyhow, this made me laugh until I worried that others might fall for this. Please don’t. Just hit delete and it’ll make me the “most happiest reporter on earth.”

Take care,

Adam

—–Original Message—–
From: Mrs Mary Susan Derrick [mailto:adrian@sportmate.co.cu]
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:25 AM
Subject: Contact Agent Kelvin Williams Immediatly

Attn: My Dear,

I’m Mrs Mary Susan Derrick, I’m a USA citizen 48 years Old. I reside here in New Braunfels Texas My residential address is as follows 108 Crockett Court Apt 303, New Braunfels Texas 78130, I’m thinking of relocating since I’m now rich, I’m one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I have paid over $50,000 while in the United State trying to get my payment all to no avail.

So I decided to travel to WASHINGTON D.C with all my compensation documents, And I was directed by the ( F B I) Director to contact Agent Mr.Kelvin Williams who his a representative of the ( FB I ) and a member of the COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE in Europe and I contacted him, he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.

He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I’m the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $15.000.000, Moreover, Mr Kelvin Williams showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payment and I saw your email address as one of the beneficiaries,that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you i will advise you to contact Mr.Kelvin Williams.

You have to contact him directly on this information below.

COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE

Name: Mr Kelvin Williams

Email:kelvin_williams@consultant.com

Phone:+18457045486

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your funds is with them, it is not in anyway with them they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.

The only money I paid after I met Mr.Kelvin Williams was just $400 for the paper works take note of that.

Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Mr.Kelvin Williams so that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.

Mrs. Mary Susan Derrick

108 Crockett Court.

Apt 303, New Braunfels Texas 78130,

The Daily Spam Report 1/23: The Nigerian scam that’s not from Nigeria

nigeria-flagI was planning on giving the following email points for creativity this morning, but then one Google search later, I learned not only does the exact same note pop up as far back as the spring of 2011, but then, I learned that a majority of all Nigerian scam emails actually come from Nigeria. (http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/167719/WhyFromNigeria.pdf)

Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Sasquatch does not exist (http://www.bfro.net/)

As far as the below email goes, there’s no such thing as Tomoba Oil and the chance that some South African oil executive whose wife and kids died in a car crash and who is dying himself from cancer has reached out to you blindly hoping you’ll help donate his remaining $15 million to charity because his existing friends and family have “plundered” his wealth is really, really non-existent. By the way, in case you were wondering how benevolent Mr. Peter Attah really is, he has already donated to “orphans in Sudan, Ethiopia, Cameroon,Spain, Austria, Germany and some Asian countries.”

Don’t fall for this folks. If you get an email you want to warn your neighbors about, send them to me: mailto:aschrager@wisctv.com and then, just hit delete.

Have a great weekend.

Adam

—–Original Message—–
From: Mr Peter Attah [mailto:noreplay@info.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:28 PM
Subject: Mr. Peter Attah

Mr. Peter Attah

URGENT – HELP ME DISTRIBUTE MY $15 MILLION TO CHARITY

IN SUMMARY:- I have 15,000,000.00 (fifteen million) U.S. Dollars and I want you to assist me in distributing the money to charity organizations. I agree to reward you with part of the money for your assistance, kindness and participation in this Godly project. This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as unserious could come into your mind but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.

I am Mr Peter Attah and I am a 55 years old man. I am a South African living in the Garden City of Port Harcourt – Nigeria. I was the President/CEO of TOMOBA OIL LIMITED – an oil servicing comapny in Port Harcourt. I was also married with two children. My wife and two children died in a car accident six years ago. Before this happened my business and concern for making money was all I was living for and I never really cared about other people.

But since the loss of my family, I have found a new desire to assist the helpless. I have been helping orphans in orphanages/motherless homes.I have donated some money to orphans in Sudan, Ethiopia, Cameroon,Spain,Austria,Germany and some Asian countries.

Before I became ill, I kept $15 Million in a long-term deposit account in Allied Bank PLC. Presently, I am in the hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations. Because my relatives and friends has plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.

Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me collect the $15 Million and the interest accrued on the deposit from Allied Bank and distributes it amongst charity organizations.

You are at liberty to use your discretion to distribute the money and feel free as well to reimburse yourself when you have the money for any expenses you incur in the course of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations. I am willing to reward you for your assistance and kindness.

Kindly expedite action and contact me via e-mail: p.attah@aol.com if this proposal is acceptable to you.

May the good Lord bless you and your family.

Best Regards,

Mr Peter Attah

This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.

http://www.avast.com

 

The Daily Spam Report 1/22: The Return of Skunk Moon

skunksI was so excited last night to check my email before I went to sleep last night and saw that my favorite fake lawyer of all-time, Skunk Moon, was back. I’ve decided I like him more than even Perry Mason and Jack McCoy simply because as he’s tried to scam me, he’s insulted me at every step.

Maybe that’s a bit delusional on my part, but it’s made me laugh.

For those who don’t follow my ramblings regularly, I first met Skunk Moon, in the proverbial sense of course, when Mrs. Supini Thrunkul suggested I contact him to help receive millions of dollars in a dormant Chinese bank account left by my long-lost,never-known and genealogically-unproven relative, Dr. Dietrich Schrager.

I played along, vowing never to lie and never to open any attachments sent through email by people I’ve never met. That drew the ire of Skunk Moon, who shows up in no lawyer directory by the way that I can find on line. Seriously, Google “Skunk Moon” and the first thing you get are pictures of skunks at night.

Further, I went to this website where you can find the registrant behind any website (http://www.whois.com/whois/skunkmoonlawfirm.com) and found out that the “firm’s” website was created in October by a tech company out of New York, not China, but I digress.

Anyhow, when I wrote him that I was not particularly good on the computer and could not open the first attachment he sent me, he responded, “How can you possibly sign our Power of Attorney and other relevant document that will be sent through attached files?Contact someone to guide you on how do download files.This is ridiculous.”

So, I apologized to “Barrister Moon” and asked if he could copy and paste the power of attorney into an email.

His response was awesome, purely spectacular and made me nearly spit out my morning coffee. “You do not need to be good on the computer to open an pdf attached file,” he wrote me. “Stop talking like a fool.”

Yes, Skunk Moon called me a fool. Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I immediately hearkened back to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_irUw5PfHM

Anyhow, I didn’t respond to Skunk Moon after that, but yesterday, out of the blue, he sent me another note about Dr. Dietrich Schrager. Sadly, he’s not mocking me or insulting me as that’s good comedy, but I’ll write him with some line about how I’ve been told not to give out personal information on the computer and I’m sure he’ll get after me again.

I present it to you for your enjoyment. If you have an email you want to warn your neighbors about, send it to me: mailto:aschrager@wisctv.com and then, just hit delete.

Take care,

Adam

From: SKUNK MOON LAW FIRM [mailto:info@skunkmoonlawfirm.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:03 PM
To: Adam Schrager
Subject: Re: enclosed attached details

RE: RECOVERY OF THE SUM OF $47, 370, 000, 00 FROM TIA YAU BANK IN FAVOUR OF. Mr. Adam Schrager

Sequel to the email we received that we act on your behalf to recover the above sum from tia yau Bank due to your deceased relation Dr Dietrich Schrager, who died in China several years ago to whom you are next-of-kin, we have agreed to represent you and to recover the said sum for you.

However, the following requirements are conditions precedent to enable us recover the said sum:

i.                     Execution of a power of Attorney and or letter of authority in favour of our firm authorizing us to act on your behalf to recover the said sum.

ii.                   Upon your authority in paragraph (i) above, we will obtain a letter of Administration in your name as the next-of-kin to the deceased from the probate Registry upon application. To obtain the letter of Administration the following are also needed:

 

A,    Your full names and address

B,     Your date of birth

C,    Your occupation

D,    Your account particulars where the sum will be paid into

E,     Passport photograph

F,     Full names of the deceased

G,   Bank particulars of where the money is domiciled

H,    Death certificate of the deceased

I,      Date and place of death

J,     Cause of death

K,     Placement of notice and caveat for application of letter of

Administration

L,     The sum of $200 for processing of letter of

Administration from the Probate Registry;

M,   The sum of $200 for notice and placement Of Caveat

N,    The sum of $200 for execution of power of Attorney

O,   The sum of $150 to secure a death certificate for the deceased

(If none has been issued)

P,   Application for payment to tia yau bank attaching all

relevant Documents.

 

Meanwhile, our professional fees shall be 3% of the total sum to be recovered. Payment can be made upon final recovery.

Kindly note that items K, and P, will be provided by our firm.

While we appreciate you for the privilege of representing you, we pledge our readiness to promptly recover the said sum on your behalf.

Please accept the renewed assurances of our highest professional.

Regards.

 

                Skunk Moon

Attorney

China Attorneys, Patent and Trademark Agents.

Practice area include banking, finance, litigation, intellectual
property, information technology, labor, and mergers and acquisitions.
Suite 906, Office Tower C1, Oriental Plaza, Beijing 100738, P. R. China
TEL:  +  861 0573  29364
Fax: + 861 0573 29327
www.shunkmoonlawfirm.com
Email: info@skunkmoonlawfirm.com
info@sk-moon-law.cc
sk@sk-moon-law.cc

The Daily Spam Report 1/21: Another dead relative found

Hong_Kong_Symphony_of_LightI realized this morning that I have failed to update you on my correspondence with Mrs. Supini Thrunkul, the woman who apparently wants to help me get access to the Chinese bank account of my long-lost, never-known, genealogically-unconnected dead relative, Dr. Dietrich Schrager.

After much back and forth, including with her banker, Skunk Moon, they grew frustrated with my reluctance to open up any forms they sent me. I had resolved from the get-go that I would not open up any links they emailed nor would I lie.

Mrs. Thrunkul ended our conversation by writing, “I think, I have to stop also communicating with you. I will have to look for another person to do this for me OK. Thanks for all your effort so far. Bye.”

It’s taken me a while to get over the rejection (Editor’s note: I typed that with a snicker) and I do wonder how they’ll find another relative of Dr. Dietrich Schrager since my sisters are not nearly as interested in playing along with something like this as I am.

Into this void comes the below email I received last weekend. Apparently, I have another dead relative in Asia, this one in Hong Kong. I must consult with my cousin who is the genealogist in our family as I had no idea our Eastern European roots apparently took hold in Asia (Editor’s note: More snark/sarcasm).

This email comes from Mrs. Ala Melkumyan at Tai Yau Bank. Why would an employee from one of the biggest banks in the commercial metropolis that is Hong Kong send me an email from a gmail account if it was on the up and up?

Wouldn’t happen. You know it. I know it. The American people know it.

Please don’t fall for this.

If you have an email you want to warn your neighbors about, email it to me at: mailto:aschrager@wisctv.com and then, just hit delete.

Take care,

Adam

From: mrsalamelkumyan@gmail.com [mailto:mrsalamelkumyan@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 12:57 PM
To: Adam Schrager
Subject: Re:

 

If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tIYsnzPVEXKoPLutZiRpGXftBoouLVeMltfGlt4FHqI/viewform

Re:

Compliments and good day to you and your family.

I write you this mail as a reminder once more having waited patiently for your response to my initial contact with you through snail mail.

However since I assume you did not get it I want to use this medium even though it might not be the best form of communication in matters like this due to the ever growing disbelief and illicit scams and fraud associated with it, I seem to have no choice than to make use of it, coupled with the fact that it might be just perfect due to the ability to redeem time.

Without wasting much of your time I am Mrs Ala Melkumyan, from Tai Yau Bank Hong Kong I want to bring you into a business venture which I think should be of interest and concern to you, since it has to do with a perceived late family member of yours, this is because there is a substantial amount of funds which I suspect is tied to a distant family member of yours.

However I need to be sure that you must have received this communication so I will not divulge much information about it until i get a response from you.
Kindly respond back to me. on my private email: alamelkuumyan331@yahoo.com.hk

Best Regards,
Mrs Ala Melkumyan

 

 

o   Option 1

[Submit]

Never submit passwords through Google Forms.

Powered by

This content is neither created nor endorsed by Google.
Report Abuse – Terms of Service – Additional Terms

The Daily Spam Report 1/20: Spam(urgent)

mallard-duck0-1My wife has been getting a little frustrated with me lately because, for some reason, I’ve fallen in love with the phrase, “It is what it is.”

The kids without a nap will get into trouble right around dinner. It is what it is.

The dishwasher will not turn on its own despite my best intentions to run it. It is what it is.

The Chicago Cubs debut a mascot named Clark in an effort to relate to younger fans who have no history with their 100-year-plus World Series-less streak. It is what it is which in this case is a cubbie bear with no pants. (http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/clark.jsp)

So, when I got the following email in my in-box on Friday, titled “Spam:urgent,” sometimes it really is what it is.

Since though I’m committed to leaving you with some tangible information about the efforts to spam/scam you. I find it interesting that this individual spells his/her name differently in the text and in his/her signature.

If you can’t spell your own name right in an unsolicited overseas email to coerce me into doing business with you, then I’m not going to fall for it.

Maybe it really is what it is or as a former News Director of mine liked to say, “If it looks like a duck and it sounds like a duck, chances are, it’s a duck.

If you have an email you want to warn your neighbors about, please sent it to me: mailto:aschrager@wisctv.com and then, just hit delete.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Adam

—–Original Message—–
From: rahaman [mailto:ahmedsalmaal@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 PM
Subject: Spam:urgent

Dear Sir(Urgent)

Good day to you and your family, I apologize if the content here under are contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal.

My name is Engr. Dr. Rahaman Malik from Damascus Syria. I am now 48 years Old, and i am now a retired government officials I was former personal investor & financial consultant advisers to some Top Politician in Syria, also an oil Tycoon from Syria and Saudi Arabia. Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC) the leader in the region in Reservoir Management AFPC was established under Service Contract no. 210 ratified by Law no. 43 of 1977 and named as per decree-law no.12 in 1985.

AFPC is a joint venture company between the General Petroleum Corporation (50%) and private shareholders Syria Shell Petroleum Development (SSPD) etc I have plan to relocate my investment planning to your beautiful country, out of Syria, Now that Syria security and our Economic independent has been lost to the greatest lower level, and our culture has been lost forever and our happiness has been taking away from us, i will like to relocate my family out from Syria, here in my country there is fire on the mountain, i need a foreign partner to enable me transport my investment capital and then relocate with my family, honestly, i wish you and i will discuss more and get along, i need a partner because i don’t have any bank account outside Syria.

Am interested in buying properties houses, Building real estate and some tourist places,I will appreciate your idea and knowledge regarding this or any other profitable investment you may suggest, on my next email i will explain to you the full details of this investment Proposal.

I shall tell you more about myself and my family on my next email, upon your respond, you may as well tell me little more about yourself. i’m waiting for your good responds.

Waiting for your reply.

Thanks

Engr. Dr. Rahman Malik

Damascus,Syria

Robert’s Rules of Order

Gen. Henry M. Robert

Gen. Henry M. Robert

I’m envisioning a cold Wisconsin winter morning 140 years ago, much like today’s, where Army Corps of Engineers Brigadier General Henry A. Robert was noodling around the idea of parliamentary procedure over his morning coffee.  His job brought him to Milwaukee in 1873 and over the following six years, he helped build ports in Green Bay and places throughout northern Wisconsin.

But it’s what he worked on before and after work that first winter he was here in the state that will remain his lasting legacy. For anyone who’s ever been to a meeting, be it a governmental hearing or at their place of employment, Robert’s Rules of Order remains the de facto way to do business. That’s what the people running the meeting use as their guide.

We’ve had a lot  of serious conversations here recently about how to run the meetings and hearings at the State Capitol.  However, when I think of Robert’s Rules, I remember this scene from the wine club on the television show, “Frasier.”

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I was at a training recently for new county board members and they were handing out the “In Brief” version of Robert’s Rules. It lets folks know that if they’re in a hurry to learn about parliamentary procedure and they only have half an hour, they can read Chapters 2-4 and they’ll have “the basics” of meeting protocol. If they have 45 minutes, they can read Chapters 2-6. If they have an hour and a half, they ought to read Chapters 1-11.

Now, it’s meant as an introduction and guide to the real book which is now in its 11th edition, not as a substitute. “This book,” the In-Brief version states, “is not itself suitable for adoption by any organization as its parliamentary authority.”

That duty falls on the big book, which has its own extensive website these days. In the time since Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President of the United States, Robert’s Rules has morphed from a 176-page book, describing 33 motions, to an 816-page book, highlighting and explaining nearly 90 motions.

Polls show a public increasingly frustrated in its efforts to engage with its government. Gen. Robert was so flustered with his experiences trying to run a meeting at his community church, as people talked back and forth and over each other, that he was compelled to lay out some structure.

As a father of three kids, age five and under, I completely understand the need to have rules and structure, but is it possible that we’ve made attending, participating and even running one of its hearings too difficult these days?

816 pages. Seriously?

It might be why in that Frasier clip,  the last voice one hears at the wine club after the back and forth of parliamentary procedure says, “I remember when we used to come here to drink.”

Sen. Jefferson Smith and the Filibuster

011809mrsmith

Mr. Smith Goes to Washingon

Fictional U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith never had it so easy.

Back in 1939, when he was being played by Jimmy Stewart in the movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Senator Smith created the image of the filibuster now seared into the majority of America’s brain. He spoke for nearly 24 hours in the film to defend himself against false charges and to aggressively decry graft in American society.

“Lost causes,” his famous quote goes, “are the only ones worth fighting for.”

But the reality of the filibuster over the last several decades in the Senate is far less glamorous. There have been no recent examples of senators actually having to show up on the floor of that august body to make their impassioned plea against legislation or a presidential appointment. Instead, they’ve simply been able to let the Majority Leader know they object and that would suffice.

Enter eight current senators, a bipartisan group, who are proposing filibuster reform that, has been described by multiple national media outlets as “watered-down.” Unlike what Jeff Smith had to go through, there will be a milder “talking requirement,” according to the main sponsors Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan). Their plan would mandate that senators actually have to appear on the floor of the Senate to voice their objection in person. Some critics though claim the proposal would actually create more potential obstructionism from the minority party and say they plan to work against it.

Here’s a link to the McCain-Levin proposal plus another link to the brief history of the filibuster. Below are quotes from the news conference from McCain and Levin introducing the reform right before the new year. Their proposals would still be required to get 60 votes from the Senate in order to be adopted.

The story tended to get lost due to conversations about the fiscal cliff, the milk cliff, the Clif bar… oh wait, the latter was just in our house as we were getting food ready for a long car ride with our kids.

By the way,  speaking of kids, I had totally forgotten how the minions of the local kingpin in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” rough up the kids trying to spread the truth about their senator. Interesting part of the clip shown above.

Sound with No Fury

Anyone who grew up in or around Chicago in the last three decades  likely has seen the “Blues Brothers” and can relate to the scene I’ve adapted to numerous scenarios over last 30 or so years.

It’s the part where the recently-released from prison Jake Blues visits his brother, Elwood’s apartment in the city–right along the Elevated tracks.

“How often does the train go by?” Jake asks.

“So often, you won’t even notice it,” Elwood shouts over the passing train.

The movie’s a cult classic and the line remains on the tip of my tongue in any number of situations whenever I’m confronted with loud noise (i.e. passing by a construction site and one of my kids asks, “How often do they use the jackhammer?” Without flinching, my response is “So often, you’ll hardly notice it.”)

It’s not the greatest example of parenting, I know, but my kids and I laugh at it.

The reason I bring this up is because today, for the first time since the technology was created, you will no longer have to ask the question as you’re reaching for the Mute button on the remote, “How loud are those *&^%$ television commercials?”

That’s because, unlike the Blues brothers, you actually have noticed their decibel levels do rise from the normal program you’re watching. In fact, a thousand Americans have officially complained to the government about it while another five thousand have asked whether their ears or television sets were playing tricks on them.

No tricks, but now there’s a treat. Under the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act that Congress passed in 2010, broadcasters and satellite providers, had until today to tone it down: literally. To give you an idea just how annoying loud tv commercials are, Republicans and Democrats actually agreed on a solution. The measure passed the U.S. Senate unanimously and on a voice vote in the U.S. House.

So that means, if you’re watching a re-run of “Casablanca” late one night or a new episode of “Modern Family,” you won’t be subjected as you go to a commercial break to a huckster screaming at you that with prices so low, they’re CRAZY!

I’m by no means an expert on consumer electronics, but his prices do seem pretty good, maybe even a bit crazy?

Anyhow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of the regulation and says it won’t become the sound police, but will rely on viewers to make sure broadcasters are complying with the new policy. If you think a channel is violating the new rules, go here to complain: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission is about two years ahead of us in dealing with this annoyance. It put together a video explaining the difference between a loud commercial coming out of normal programming and a commercial with similar audio levels to the program being watched. Scroll ahead to the 45-second mark to see how it’ll work.

Oh, and one more piece of extremely good news to share with you that unfortunately comes a few months too late for those of us here in Wisconsin. However, we can take advantage in the future.

Political commercials are NOT exempt. We all remember how often they’ve come by and it’s debatable as to whether we even noticed.

Scott Walker, Ron Swanson and Waffles

I don’t know if Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) is a fan of the NBC program, Parks and Recreation, but I’m pretty sure he wants to channel his inner-Ron Swanson these days and take Wisconsin’s legislative Republican leaders out for waffles.

Ron Swanson

Ron Swanson

If you’re not an avid watcher of the show, please allow me to explain. The comedy features an Indiana city councilwoman and her struggles navigating the politics of her small town. A recent episode had the central character,  Leslie Knope, trying to figure out how to derail a co-worker’s plan to site a dog park where she had pined for years to build a park for kids.

She heads down the City Hall corridor to her mentor, the aforementioned Swanson, who runs the Parks and Recreation department where she used to work. In his typically deadpan fashion, he advises her that in the past, he’d simply give her busy work to divert her attention from a topic she was passionate about and if she were “really amped up about something, I’d take you (to a local restaurant) and distract you with waffles.”

Over the last few days, we’ve seen reports about Republicans in the legislature who, in the 2013 session, want to do things like removing same-day voter registration, changing the composition of the Government Accountability Board from retired judges to political appointees, and cracking down on illegal immigration with an Arizona-like law.

All the while, the governor continues to say, as he did yesterday to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “My priority is about jobs, creating jobs.”

That’s by no means a new sentiment from the governor who echoes that refrain every chance he gets. However, as memories of his 2012 recall fade, he knows his 2014 re-election hopes depend on how he’s doing in handling the economy.

As he told me in an August, 2011 interview before he was ever recalled:

“I think in the end, what I’m going to be judged on whether it’s in 2012 or 2014, is how far have we gone down the path of the single biggest promise I made, which was to help the people of the state create 250,000 jobs.”

waffles    The governor knows conversations about anything besides the economy are bound to take attention away from the single issue he believes matters most to Wisconsin residents. He may approve of some of those legislative issues being discussed by Republicans,  in fact he was the one who first brought up the same-day voter registration issue in a speech, but he wants Wisconsin to know they’re not his priorities.

It’s likely why he’ll want to schedule a carbohydrate-heavy meal at Mickie’s Dairy Bar or some other great breakfast joint outside the Capitol for his Republican legislative friends.

Waffles, as Ron Swanson points out, are always a great distraction.

BUDGET CONVERSATION

Just as an aside, every time I hear a story about the fiscal cliff and sequestration and federal budget issues, I’m reminded of Charles Grodin in the movie, “Dave.” He’s the accountant that Dave, who’s pretending to be the President, invites to the White House to have a sandwich and to balance the budget.

What’s going on now in Washington is no laughing matter, but these scenes from the movie that show what they came up with, certainly are.

Just like waffles, levity provides a nice distraction as well.