Monday, March 06, 2006


Who uses it: Legislators and lobbyists
What it means: Agreeing to vote on a colleague's pet project in exchange for his or her vote on your pet project. This is how our deficit grows.
How you can use it: When making deals.

The Latin phrase for this is Manus manum lavat, "One hand washes the other." I haven't heard of logrolling among Oscar voters, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I watched most of the Oscars at the Lechners' last night. We agreed that Jon Stewart did well; we were shocked that Jessica Alba, who otherwise looked beautiful, was chewing gum on the red carpet; we wanted to arrange to kidnap Keira Knightley and force-feed her Whoopie Pies.

The show got a little too self-congratulatory at times -- I got very tired of hearing about Sony's "bravery" in producing Memoirs of a Geisha -- bravery? What was controversial about Memoirs of a Geisha, for heaven's sake? But I was delighted to see Wallace & Gromit win, and glad to see Crash take Best Picture. Not only is it a good movie, but -- in a nice example of logrolling -- the facade of The Mystery Bookstore appears briefly in one of its early scenes.

I am badly over-committed today, but have to get home by 8:00 p.m., for something really cool: NPR is simulcasting a concert from Washington's 9:30 Club featuring two of my favorite bands, Belle and Sebastian and The New Pornographers. Almost makes up for not being there.

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