The RDV Group InfoSec Blog

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Smokin Dutch Cleanser

An item for the Obscure Phrases Dept:

I was surprised when I saw the headline of Maureen Dowd’s Feb 11 NYTimes column: “Smoking Dutch Cleanser.” She was referring to a remark by Arlen Specter about Albert Gonzales' testimony last week re: NSA wiretapping: “...When Gonzales argues that the Constitution gives the president undisputable powers to conduct warrantless surveillance despite a statute aimed at requiring him to seek court approval, such an interpretation "is not sound," Specter said in the interview. ". . . He's smoking Dutch Cleanser."

But this is what surprised me: my friend Patricia Farrell from Philadelphia who now resides in Virginia, asked me last year if I had heard of the phrase “Smoking Dutch Cleaner”. I had never heard it before. Evidently it implies that the subject is under the influence and hallucinating, and probably dates from the 60’s, a dope-smoking reference. Although Specter grew up in Kansas, he went to U of Penn and was the Philadelphia DA and Asst. DA.; maybe there’s the link. Although my wife is also from Philly, she’s never heard it.

This is a new one. I think it needs more investigation ...


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