Washington Metro News

Washington Metro News

District needs its own Tea Party

If you’ve been following the latest shenanigans of elected officials running the District of Columbia, it’s easy to understand why the city is so messed up. I’m referring, of course, to Lincoln-gate, where D.C. City Council Chairman Kwame Brown ordered not one, but two 2011 Lincoln Navigator SUVs for his official use. Why two? Why not? Well, he didn’t like the color of the interior on the first one the city ordered at nearly $2,000 per month in leases.
It appears Mr. Brown wanted a “black on black” SUV and no other color combination would work. The reason he gave is that model “holds its value” longer than any other. So now the chairman is cost-conscious? How pathetic. What Brown hopes readers don’t remember is his insistence that the SUV be “fully loaded,” including a DVD player in the backseat. I don’t even want to know the reason behind that request.


In memoriam

I have lived on and off Capitol Hill now for more than 20 years.

I lived on the Hill in the early 1990s during the bad old days, when the crack wars threatened the lives of many young staffers, and claimed the lives of a couple of kids who were senselessly murdered in botched robbery attempts.

When the Marion Barry regime got too corrupt, I moved off the Hill into the relative safety of Virginia, only to return shortly after the 9/1l attacks. I was tired of traffic and I wanted to be closer to my job, which was three glorious blocks away.


Lonely are the brave

“Lonely are the brave.”
— Dalton Trumbo

Visiting No. 1 Son in the hills last week, I overheard on his radio a young voice saying the Stewart/Colbert event in Washington was going to be “like Woodstock” for his generation. Was surprised that anyone 23 would want an event “like Woodstock.” Note on Woodstock: It was a “shadow” event for the phenomenal Summer of Love which happened just before in San Francisco. It was like if you designed a hippie church and invited a bunch of lawyers, toked them up and asked them to make it “like the Summer of Love” but with Bob Dylan as the New Jesus, and you would get Woodstock. And more on that: At Woodstock, a very legitimate and wise guru appeared between the acts and talked to the crowd. Ask anyone you know who was there, what was the name of the guru? They don’t know? They didn’t notice? Ask them why not.


Better off dead

I’m sorry, but the killing of James Lee, the Discovery Channel gunman who yesterday took several employees hostage, was the only option for that sick individual.

Special thanks go out to the Montgomery County officers and SWAT members who thought it better to shoot first and ask questions later about what kind of device Lee had strapped to his person during those intense hours.

The politico in me, however, can’t help but think of this gunman’s social views of the world. Apparently, Lee was no stranger to the Discovery Channel, and a vocal critic of its programming. He condemned human reproduction, and argued instead that we all should be “sterilized” to control the population.


Saturday’s big non-event on the Mall

Curious to see what it was all about, I attended Glenn Beck’s big rally Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial. And I’m glad I did.

First, because it gave me a good, close-up look at Tea Partiers: old, white and angry. From their T-shirts and their flags, it’s clear they all hate government. From their white hair, it’s also clear they’re all on Medicare and Social Security.

Second, because it gave me a good, close-up look at Glenn Beck. No doubt why he scheduled this rally on the Washington Mall: It’s the only place big enough to contain his ego. Barely.


Soda tax is the right thing

Soda tax? YES!

The D.C. Council’s decision on May 20 to take a proposed “soda tax” off the table for pending legislation was an unfortunate mistake — one made during an election year when council members may be more tuned in to campaign contributions from soda companies than effecting positive change in public health.



We had an all-American Fourth of July this year on Capitol Hill. My brother came in with his wife and kids, so we were excited to soak in some of the patriotic flavor of the holiday.

We started with a local parade on the Eighth Street, a parade that included the Marine band from the barracks, a fire truck, both a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout pack, some dogs and their owners, a few activist groups (including an anti-war float) and, of course, local politicians, although Mayor Fenty was a no-show.

As my sister-in-law put it, there are a lot people with a lot of opinions here.


Prom weekend

It was an interesting weekend in Washington.

As an oil slick approached oyster beds off of New Orleans, a car bomber missed in Times Square, the water shut off in Boston and thousands of friends of illegal immigrants protested a law targeting illegal immigrants in Phoenix, Hollywood invaded the nation’s capital.

Hollywood takes seriously its frivolity, while Washington often treats frivolously serious matters like war and peace. This past weekend, when so many Hollywood stars make their way to Washington for the White House Correspondents’ dinner, has become a perfect storm of frivolity and seriousness, all intersecting in a furious vortex of brunches, pre-parties, after-parties and after-after-party brunches.


A movement, sure, but where's it going?

With Tax Day behind us, and with it the Tea Party rallies across the country, the question is, What's next for the one-year-old Tea Party ?
Tea Party protesters in Washington made clear they weren't interested in establishment Republicans showing up, and no House or Senate GOP leaders were invited. The movement isn't really organized, and isn't coalescing around a substantial number of third-party candidates. Those who split off haven't done so well. Who represents the Tea Party, and what role will its supporters play in this fall's elections?


Tea Party stupidity

I'm still trying to sort out the significance of those racist and homophobic actions by those Tea Party demonstrators at the Capitol this weekend. Or if there was any significance.

Instead of tea and biscuits, we got a serving of tea and bigots. And once they hurled their vile rants and expectorants — yes, one frenzied slug even spat on an African-American congressman — they became irrelevant to the healthcare debate.