We're close to reaching the breaking point. The White House knows it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress know it. Wall Street knows it, economists know it. We've been pushing this off for quite some time, and now it's time to take action.
Of course, I'm talking about solving this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
For years, a correct answer chosen at random would get his or her name posted in this column, an incredible honor in itself. Now the stakes are even higher. Thanks to the efforts of the folks at Talk of the Nation, that person also hears their name mentioned on the Wednesday show (by me) and receives a Political Junkie t-shirt in the bargain. Is this a great country or what?
You can't use the comments box at the bottom of the page for your answer. Send submission (plus your name and city/state — you won't win without that) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Why do people keep forgetting to include their name and city/state?)
And, by adding your name to the Political Junkie mailing list, you will be among the first on your block to receive notice about the column and the puzzle. Sign up at email@example.com. Or you can make sure to get an automatic RSS feed whenever a new Junkie post goes up by clicking here.
By the way, I always announce the winner on Wednesday's Junkie segment on TOTN — eight days after the puzzle goes up. So you should try and get your answer in as soon as possible. But logistically, you have about a week to submit your guess.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
Hay Krajewski Hay! Hay! — Henry Krajewski, a pig farmer from Secaucus, ran several times for president and governor of New Jersey in the 1950s. This item is probably from one of the gov. campaigns.
Ban the Bra — A feminist cause button from the late '60s/early '70s that in many ways makes a lot of sense.
Sam & Ham — Supporters of Hamilton Jordan, former President Carter's chief of staff who was seeking the Democratic Senate nomination from Georgia in 1986, attempted to link him with popular Sen. Sam Nunn. But Jordan lost the primary to Wyche Fowler.
Stan Leen is in Business for ME./Leen for Governor — He ran as an independent in Maine in 1974.
Cahn for District Attorney — William Cahn, a New York Republican, served as D.A. for Nassau County (Long Island) from 1962 until 1974.
So, when you combine Hay + Bra + Ham + Leen + Cahn, you may just very well end up with ...
Abraham Lincoln. The nation's 16th president who did such a good job that he's now starring in a movie about himself.
The winner, chosen completely at random, is ... Kathleen O'Donnell of Keene, N.H. Kathleen gets not only the coveted Political Junkie t-shirt — but the Official No Prize Button as well!
And don't forget to check out this week's Political Junkie column, which focuses on the 2013 elections. Click here to read the column.