No. 166: "AC in D.C.?"

No. 166: "AC in D.C.?"

No. 166: "AC in D.C.?"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Jan. 2 1999 3:30 AM

No. 166: "AC in D.C.?"

Rule 12 of the Senate Impeachment Rules states, "At 12:30 o'clock after noon, or at such other hour as the Senate may order ... the legislative and executive business of the Senate shall be suspended, and the secretary shall give notice to the House ... that the Senate is ready to proceed ... in the Senate Chamber, which chamber is prepared with accommodations for the reception of the House of Representatives."


Fred Graver and Betsy Steyer Graver ask: What sort of accommodations?


by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer to

Tuesday's question (No. 165)--"Old Whine, New Bottle":

FBI Special Agent Frank Scafidi says, "Everybody gets freaked. You shut down the operation. The perp got his kick. This is just the 1998 version."


What new thing is the 1998 version of what old thing?

"New version: The Nation magazine's Caribbean cruise. Old version: the Sacco and Vanzetti trial."--Jennifer Miller

"Zippergate/Easter at the Kennedy compound."--Westley Annis

"A post ironic sensibility/naiveté."--M. Pesca


"Bob Barr is the 1998 Orville Faubus. (It seems the operation can't be shut down.)"--Charles Star

"Scaring the guests with those fake hippos that popped out of the water in Pirates of the Caribbean/killing them with heavy cleats."--Larry Schnur

Click for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up


Caricature is so reassuring and so rare. It's not often you meet a cow that says "moo," a bird that says "tweet," or an FBI special agent that says "The perp got his kick." But when it happens, you know where you are--in front of the television, dozing contentedly, while doctors say "stat" and cops say "dirt bag" and Tom Brokaw says "drug lords" and "terrorists," and "I want that stat, you dirt bag!" to some poor production assistant who's doing the best he can. No, wait, it was the cow who said that; she's so much crankier in real life than in the cartoon barnyard. Brokaw is, by all accounts, an amiable fellow, who can be found of an evening swapping World War II stories with Maureen Dowd. What a great time! Love that part about the sense of national purpose and the black market tires and the millions of dead Russians. OK, not the tires. Who brought that up, anyway? Probably that damn cartoon bird, if by "tweet, tweet," she meant "German-American bund" or "internment camp." But maybe she didn't. Maybe she just meant "Sleep tight, you morons!" Happy New Year, everyone.

Updated Answer

As Deb Stavin knew (click), phoning in a bogus anthrax scare is the 1998 version of phoning in a bogus bomb scare.

"It just seems to be the wacko's flavor of the month," Scafidi says, of what has become a particularly vexing genre of prank phones call in Los Angeles, as well as in Colorado, Kentucky, and Tennessee. And although hazardous materials teams know that most calls are hoaxes, "You always have to treat a threat as real," says Mark Whaling of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. "Monday morning quarterbacking will eat us alive if we make a mistake."


It Pays to Debase Your Word Power Extra

I give the jargon-laden blather; you give the field to which it refers.

1. "Our integration teams are well on their way to defining and beginning the synergy projects."

2. "I have shifted things to be more family targeted, because we're already bringing in the adults."

3. "It's easier to see the evidence of the money they spent in froufrou on the plate--swirls, complexity, multiple garnishes."

4. "During times of the year of major significance to the market, you can make sure you are visibly showcasing your commitment."


1. Cars. Jürgen Schremp and Robert Eaton, co-chairmen of DaimlerChrylser, on how well their merger is going.

2. Cartoons. Terry Press, DreamWorks' marketing chief, on the ads for the ponderous and lackluster Prince of Egypt.

3. Food. David Rosengarten, host of the Food Network's Taste, on the expectations of customers at expensive restaurants.

4. Exploiting religious and cultural holidays. Michelle Flowers, president of a public relations firm specializing in the African-American market, on how your company can make a buck from Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. (Are you visibly showcasing your commitment or are you just glad to see me?)

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