Mashed on Arrival

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Suddenly, unexpectedly, there is talk of death in Washington -- death of the impeachment trial, courtesy of Robert Byrd's resonant call. And for a moment, CP almost felt bad for those House managers, suddenly staggering around, scrabbling desperately to prolong their lives, prolong the trial, avoid dismissal and call witnesses. The moment didn't last long, and DOA turned back into Q&A (and a some implicit T&A, thanks to the facts of the case). But it was good enough to rent a movie by -- well, one movie, three choices.

D.O.A. (1950). Edmond O'Brien, man of noir from The Killers (and by clever extension, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid) plays the dead man walking in the best one this side of Double Indemnity. Not to be missed.

Fast-forwarding... D.O.A. (1988), starring soon-to-be-inseparable Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, misses the chiaroscuro like a limb, but it limps along gamely on it's full-color legs. Would-be novelists will like Quaid as the writer who finds his soul right before his grave. Or does he?

D.O.A. (1999). But leave it to Christopher Guest, the mad genius behind Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, to do it right . . . Alright, CP has no idea what this movie is about. It's not out yet. But keep it in mind, will ya?

Yes, by the end of the day, GOP hammer-head Phil Gramm had slipped the House an antidote. The trial limps along, looking for the big answer: Should it -- can it -- be killed?