The Breakfast Table

And a T.S. Eliot Morning to You, Too

Hallo Walter!

Such a pleasure to welcome you to Slate. Your mornings sound very Eudora Welty compared to the T.S. Eliot-ness of my own; measured out in shaky teaspoons of battery-acid coffee, until I’ve ingested enough to careen once through the A section of the New YorkTimes. At some point the cat will playfully sink an entire fang into my calf, and I’ll squirt him with the purple water gun. (Jump back, Sarah Brady.) On this goes, in an infinite loop of coffee, news, cat, and e-mail, until my heart is seizing and I can’t breathe. Another satisfying Kellogg’s morning …

I have lots to ask you, including your opinion on U.S. v. Drayton—the bus search case from Monday. Can six members of the court really believe there’s nothing coercive about being trapped on a Greyhound bus, with a cop stationed by the door as other cops ask to fondle your thighs? The very best part is that all the papers call this a “foreshadowing” of how the Court plans to handle constitutional questions arising from the war on terror. As though instituting warrantless searches on public buses would present some kind constitutional conundrum for John “habeas-schmabeas” Ashcroft.

But mostly, I want to hear what you think Judge Leonie Brinkema ought to do about the ever-loquacious Zacarias Moussaoui. Having glanced at his now-unsealed ex parte pleadings, I have to say I love this one (from May 12) best of all. It’s the one where he speculates that Judge Brinkema’s mental imbalance may be caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. Now I ask you, what would you do if you were hearing this case? Am I wrong to say she should just appoint a Muslim lawyer for him? Or can the government pull a quickie switch and slap Moussaoui in the brig in South Carolina with Jose Padilla? Because there is simply no way to control this man; his hatred knows no bounds.

More later. Need coffee.