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Brief asides


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POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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Cokie, here I am at left ... Aloha, Simon

Beltway gentry daughter Cokie Roberts keeps learning new things about the outside world. Last August she criticized then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for vacationing in “;some sort of foreign, exotic place”; like Hawaii, before discovering it is an actual state — not to mention his hometown. Her latest gem, on ABC's “;This Week with George Stephanopoulos,”; was the contrast she saw between Scottish singing phenomenon Susan Boyle and her three judges in “;Britain's Got Talent.”;

“;I had never heard of any of these people,”; Roberts remarked. “;They were Barbie and Ken. They were the most fake-looking human beings I had ever seen.”;

Never heard of Simon Cowell? That's a pretty big rock to be under.

QUESTIONS RAISED

Taking a second, third, fourth look

“;He could not hurt a fly. All I have to say is Philip is a beautiful person, inside and out.”; So wrote Megan McAllister in an e-mail to ABC's “;Good Morning America,”; defending fiance Phil Markoff, who was arrested Monday as the alleged “;Craigslist killer.”; He is suspected of killing one woman and robbing another, both of whom he allegedly met online.

Shock from family and friends followed the arrest. Markoff, 22, is a Boston University premed student, engaged to be married in August, and registered with his fiancee for housewares at Pottery Barn, Macy's and Williams-Sonoma. His father is a dentist, his mother a school administrator, his brother a computer programmer, reports the New York Post.

A trial will determine Markoff's innocence or guilt. But the case does raise a general question: How well do you really know someone?

SHOW ME THE MONEY

It's just paper, right?

When is real money real money?

President Obama, answering a question Monday about governmental frugality, riffed a variant of a quote often attributed to Everett Dirksen: “;$100 million there, $100 million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money.”;

It's strange times, indeed, when $100 million alone isn't quite “;real money.”;