Washington Metro News

Washington Metro News


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.


Our bad

"Sorry, guys.”

“We apologize."

"Sorry.” By now we're sorry we ever heard the word. From Tiger to Toyota to even D.C. City Councilman, former Mayor and nonstop delinquent Marion Barry, they're all "sorry."


Washington's personality disorders

You haven't seen infighting until you watch psychotherapists and argue over the DSM. That's the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ... call it "Psychobabble for Professionals.” With all the bickering over an updated version, these people could definitely use some counseling.

It could be called a "raging" controversy, but the experts want to change "Raging" to "Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria.” A bad temper is a disorder. Can't wait to see the pharmaceutical ads for that one.


Snow on my mind

For obvious reasons, I have snow on my mind.

In between snow emergencies, I was walking to work yesterday down Pennsylvania Avenue, when I hit a predictably bad stretch of sidewalk. Except for one thing. This stretch of sidewalk was right in front of Chevy Chase Bank. For some reason, they didn’t bother to shovel their snow.


Widespread panic

There's a great scene in the movie “Airplane” where the passengers, in response to a request to assume the crash position, go into complete panic mode.

That reminds me of what usually happens at the first signs of a “snow emergency” in Washington. People flock to the stores, buying food they don’t need, toilet paper they couldn’t possibly use over a weekend and a variety of others things that they probably already have in their house somewhere, which they bought during the previous snow panic.


Palin, pandas, parties and departees

All those who are focusing on the Tea Party movement with all its fervor for rattling the Washington cage this weekend are missing the really important event that was the main focus in D.C.

Of course that would be the big "P" party. For "Panda," of course. It too was a movement and it also involved a cage. This P party, along with a second one in Atlanta, was not just a sad farewell, but one hell of a metaphor.


Paula Nowakowski

As I drove my wife back to her office after the funeral of my good friend Jeff Becker, a bumper sticker on the car in front of me caught my attention. “What if the hokey-pokey is what it is all about?”

The thought made me laugh, which is nice, because on Friday, I will be attending the funeral of another friend who died suddenly, unexpectedly, and all too soon.