February 27, 2004

Hatch Imposing His Will

Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch apparently hasn't been paying attention to the local news for the past couple of months. Were he aware of what's going on in the District he couldn't possibly be serious about tacking on an amendment to the bill that would protect gun makers form lawsuits. Hatch's possible amendment: repealing the District's ban on handgun possession.

Shootings in and around our schools; the execution-style killing of a 14-year old girl; the populace getting excited about 11 consecutive murder-free days. Hatch takes these as signs that DC residents are clamoring for handguns, and damn it, he's going to be the one to give them to us.

To you Orrin, I offer a "fuck you" from the cockle of my heart. Yes, I said cockle...

Posted by cs at 1:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lead in the mail

I got a letter from the city about lead in the water, which told me all sorts of information except for one little nugget of information: whether my building has a problem.

Some of the materials in the mailing came from DC WASA and some came from the Department of Health, commonly known as:

doh.jpg

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Betcha didn't know

We have a federal "Truth in Domain Names" law.

I think we should haul in John Ashcroft for lifeandliberty.gov.

Posted by rj3 at 9:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

Why conservatives love The Passion

I think it’s clear by now The Passion of The Christ is more than just another movie – it’s a movement. Despite mixed reviews, it is a cause celebre at the National Review, where they have pages and pages and pages of praise devoted to it. Keep in mind that NR isn’t an explicitly Christian magazine. So why is this movie as big a draw for movement conservatives as it is for Christians?

Because conservatives think they can identify: Never in the recorded history of mankind has so numerous, powerful, wealthy and secure a group ever been so utterly convinced of their own persecution and suffering.

By focusing on the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life and covering up any uplifting message about redemption in so much blood and guts that it gets lost, The Passion turns the story of Jesus into a montage of suffering and little else. Through identifying with the beaten and bloody Jesus, conservatives validate their own persecution complex and get to avoid all of those Christian teachings that might require anything resembling selfless thought towards one’s fellow man.

Conservatives control all three branches of government, and if you believe their rhetoric, they will for the foreseeable future. They gripe about the media, but they do so on television and radio shows heard and seen nationwide, and in dozens of openly partisan newspapers such as the Washington Times and the New York Post. They have a seemingly limitless supply of money to fund their candidates and bolster the bottom lines of their money-losing journalism ventures.

Yet you wouldn’t know this if you listened to most mainstream conservatives.

They whine about being rejected by dates for being conservative.

They complain endlessly about “crushing of dissent” on campuses every time one of their newspapers gets attacked for running a blatantly racist article. But let’s look at the whole picture: Campus conservatives get hundreds of thousands of dollars to start campus publications, attend conferences and hire speakers, as well as fawning admiration every time a coed or minority student says he or she supports President Bush.


Campus liberals got COINTELPRO.

They hold so-called “affirmative action bake sales” at colleges, a veiled way of saying that they are too good for their school and would have ended up somewhere better had the system been fair. No wonder they don’t elicit much sympathy from other students.

It never ends. For every financially secure conservative with a national megaphone or a well-ensconced spot in the national power structure, you have a complaint about discrimination against their kind.

The line rings hollow upon cursory inspection, but they believe it, which is why they love The Passion – they see themselves as the whipped and crucified Jesus, not the corrupt and brutal Roman imperialists.

Which makes it much easier to sleep at night.

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February 25, 2004

The Passion of the Jackass

Did you really not expect this?

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So you just assume there aren't any D.C. cabbies from Iowa

From the Des Moines Register:


Washington, D.C. - Even the cabdrivers here know who Tom Vilsack is these days.

A cabbie, when he heard he was driving an Iowa reporter to a National Governors Association event Tuesday, exclaimed, "Iowa! Tom Vilsack!"

The cabbie then charged the reporter for two more zones then he actually went through, picking up and dropping off three other passengers in a roundabout tour of the city.

Posted by rj3 at 12:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Don't Drink the Water

DC health officials are set to announce today that pregnant women and children under six should not drink District tap water if they live in homes on lead service lines. How do you know if you're on a lead service line? Well, WASA has produced these fine maps that you can check out on their website. The Authority is quick to qualify that, "These maps do not depict results or specific service line material or specific addresses. That information is not being publicly released." So if you haven't already, advise your broker to invest in Deer Park and Poland Springs.

On a related note, WASA and DCPS have announced that 98.94% of the samples taken from DC schools were within EPA levels... after flushing the taps for ten minutes... as elementary school students commonly do before drinking from a bubbler... or since we're in the mid-Atlantic, water fountain.

Posted by cs at 10:42 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 24, 2004

Greatest. Letter. Ever.

Rep. Dingell shows that you can spend decades up on Capitol Hizzle and still have a sense of humor. Really, it's worth reading, especially because you're probably going to end up in the industry he discusses.

As for Greg Mankiw, I read his economics text in college, and I still can't balance a checkbook - helluva lot of good the econ department did me.

(via Atrios)

Posted by rj3 at 1:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More dumbass sculptures

I know that 11 days without a murder is quite an accomplishment, but do you really think our priorities have shifted to the point that we can dump our money and attention into placing pandas all over town?

Metro deficit, anybody?
Potholed roads ring a bell?
Lead in the water?
Ballou?
Buying Anthony Williams some real ties?

Posted by rj3 at 11:15 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Kulturkampf!

Are we having fun yet? Because if we're not, a year's worth of gay-bashing vs. fundo-bashing should do it.

Posted by rj3 at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

11 days...

...without a murder in DC. Of course, someone could be offed tonight, but we should keep our fingers crossed. I guess eight murders in a month isn't too far off with a little luck.

Posted by rj3 at 3:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

DCSOBloggers exposed!

We here at DCSOB generally protect the anonymity of our bloggers. However, Lego C.S. doesn't give away too much, but is nonetheless dead-on.

Also, this is a lego-ized depiction of me, R.J.

Posted by rj3 at 12:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 22, 2004

Never mind the bollards

Some questions about the security barriers going up all over town:

1. Do they come down when we defeat Al Qeada, or will we elevate some other group to their status to justify it?

2. When was the last major terrorist attack against a monument, like the Washington or Lincoln Memorials, where there are likely to be few casualties?

3. How do metal detectors stop planes from flying into buildings?

Posted by rj3 at 12:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

"I read the Week in Review, and she goes straight for Arts and Leisure"

This post on the CJR Campaign Desk blog reminded me of something and got me enraged here at my desk. Now, I know this isn't a personal blog, but I have no other outlet, but here goes:

I hate the New York Times' television ads. They make me feel like a snob and a fool for reading the paper. I really want to smack around everyone involved with their production, especially the actors.

Like the guy who says, "The only thing better than doing the crossword puzzle is actually finishing it." Who says that?

And the precocious little girl who says she reads the Times to keep up with what's going on on the web. Isn't that what the web is for? If you get your information on the Internet from a newspaper, and you're 11 years old, well, there's just no helping you.

I also hate the bright, high-ceilinged, airy houses all the people live in, with their sparse-but-still-comfortable decor. I'm from New York and I can tell you from firsthand experience that nobody lives like that. Most people live in dark apartments with low ceilings and most of the rich people who can afford that sort of space have look-but-don't-touch antiques. Heck, it doesn't get that bright outdoors in New York on most days.

So screw you, Times ad wizards. Sure, I'll keep reading, but with gritted teeth.

Posted by rj3 at 3:33 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Legalize it (ads on the Metro, that is)

More at the Volokh Conspiracy.

Posted by rj3 at 1:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

8 Days

...without a murder? Whoa.

(Courtesy of Why I Hate DC, who gets a little more sympathy these days.)

Posted by rj3 at 1:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

Local Happenings

While taking a midafternoon constitutional up 16th st a friend and I walked past the AFL-CIO building. It turns out that the fine folks at the AFL -CIO just endorsed Kerry and are in the midst of a rally to make it formal. So for all you election watchers out there, take a walk out to 815 16th St NW. Maybe you'll shake the hand of the next president.

Posted by cs at 1:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Exit polls

Doesn't this piss you off?

With nothing but Wolf Blitzer's word, CNN tells the world Kerry is the winner, despite Edwards having more tallied votes?

I know they have exit polls and can make a fairly accurate call given what they know about the makeup of the precints not yet reporting, but shouldn't we know some more information about it, like whether the precints already in skew more toward one candidate than the rest of the state? All the viewer has to work with is Larry King naming the three Wisconsin cities he's heard of, opining that some of them may have reported, while others did not. No stats, no solid info, just an old man with suspenders venturing a guess. Hard-hitting coverage it's not. We deserve better.

Posted by rj3 at 11:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Water Woes

WASA is waffling; they've revised their previous statement that residents should flush their taps for about one or two minutes before drinking tap water or cooking with it. WASA now recommends that folks flush their taps for ten minutes, five times the previous recommendation. According to the Post, "WASA officials suggest that the best way to flush the lines for 10 minutes is to take a shower and flush the toilet before drinking or cooking."

Try explaining that to dinner guests from out of town, "The pasta should be ready in about 20 minutes, just excuse me for ten or fifteen minutes while I go take a shower and flush the toilet."

Posted by cs at 10:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 18, 2004

Will They Use Pick-a-Nick Baskets as Bait?

bears.JPG Now I wouldn't call myself a raging environmentalist, I support environmemtal conservation, but I also accept hunting as a sport and a necessity. However, our neighbors in the great State of Maryland are really chapping my ass with a new plan to start a bear hunt this year. Black bears, once on the verge of extinction in Maryland will be targeted for a 10% population reduction.

Just a thought has anyone thought of proposing a plan to start a rat hunt in DC. We could let the hunters go wild. They wouldn't have to stop at 10% and there would be no size restrictions... Think about it.

Posted by cs at 5:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Commuter tax lawsuit

It's about time we had one, but I bet this lawsuit will probably take years and will end up in the Supreme Court. However, five Supreme Court Justices live in northern Virginia, three live in Washington and only one, Sandra Day O'Connor, lives in Maryland. In a case like this, would everyone have to recuse themselves?

Posted by rj3 at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 17, 2004

Another Wonkette typo

The White House press secretary is Scott McClellan, ending in n. Now, spell it out with me, M-C-C-L-E-L-L-A-N.

Is Ms. Wonkette still a little green after a few weeks running her blog? Perhaps. Then again, "Tina Brown" and "Drudge" are easier to spell and both write at a lower grade level.

Posted by rj3 at 12:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 15, 2004

Primary (aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in terms of the observer or of the light)

About the title: I got sick of finding words rhyming with "color," so I chose to use the dictionary definition instead.

Anyway, unlike most of you, I voted in the (real) DC primary yesterday. Walking around with my little "I Voted" sticker, many people asked me what exactly I voted for. I have the feeling that most people thought the "beauty contest" last month was the actual primary and therefore didn't vote yesterday.

You know the results, so I'll just get right to the camera-phone pictures.


Another black box vote goes out into the ether...


The secret to their success: candy.

Posted by rj3 at 7:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2004

Coyote Ugly

So there's been a lot of talk about the new Coyote Ugly by the MCI Center. I've been to the original in NYC, and I can tell you that it's entertaining, but not something most people (especially Washingtonians) would do every weekend. It's not near the colleges or any similar bars, so the (mostly) Metro-fearing suburbanites who populate Georgetown, AU and GW and cab it to Adams Morgan won't pack the place. My prediction: An ugly bottom line and an abandoned building by Summer '05.

Posted by rj3 at 11:28 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Rap-A-Grams

Perfect for one of K Street or the Hill's many nearly-all-white offices. It's too bad Haley Barbour isn't lobbying anymore -- I think he'd love it.

Posted by rj3 at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

Sounds of the City

Heard in a random bar in NW:

"I'll tell you why it's in February, they gave us Black History Month in February so that we couldn't barbecue."

Posted by cs at 1:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Staffer etiquette 101

Rule #1. When you're at a hearing and your boss is busy doing everything he can to piss off the Secretary of State, keep your head perfectly still.

The whole episode just goes to show that you can take the Secretary out of the Bronx, but you can't take the Bronx out of the Secretary.

Posted by rj3 at 11:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 11, 2004

One hack down, millions more to go

Glenn Reynolds whines that Bob Arnot won't be reporting from Iraq for NBC News anymore. The claims that he's a fair reporter? They all come from military people, who'd love for people to hear his stories on how everything in Iraq is hunky-dory. When he got the chance to interview Donald Rumsfeld, he hit him with softballs along the lines of "why do you think the media is being so unfair?" (I'll get the transcript soon, when I can log on to Lexis-Nexis).

Such is par for the course for Reynolds, who salivates at the prospect of lapping up propaganda straight from the Pentagon, without any interference from people who at least try to get the other side of the story.

So, in summary: In Instapunditland, it's evenhanded if it's Pentagon-approved and it's biased if it angers military brass.

Baaaa.

UPDATE: LexNex has NBC news transcripts, but not MSNBC, so I can't find it. If you can find it, holla.

Posted by rj3 at 3:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Goin' down the aisle feelin' bad

What could be more depressing than food shopping alone?

You can't buy half of the items at the supermarket because they come in sizes unwieldy for a (non-bullemic) individual. Couples shop together all around you, taunting you with their happy domesticity and ability to creatively use squash. Some of the loners are on the phone, checking on whether it's OK to have stirfry twice in a week. As opposed to the working environment, everyone's heart seems to be on their sleeve at the supermarket.

What's worse than putting up with that?

Putting up with it at the Soviet Safeway, home of moldy navel oranges and no goddamn Jiffy cornbread mix!

Posted by rj3 at 2:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

Sounds of the City

Heard in a bar in Mt. Pleasant:

Bar Tender: (handing a patron a drink) This one's on Sharon.
Patron One: Who's Sharon?
Patron Two: She's the blonde over there. She's nice; she buys drinks for people.

Posted by cs at 1:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

20 Second Bar Review - Peyote Cafe

2319 18th Street NW

A group of pals headed out on Friday for a night of boozing and Karaoke in Adams Morgan. Despite a few initial snags in our planning (Peyote Cafe doesn't open till about 8:30, we arrived at 5:30) it was a good night out.

The atmosphere was quite laid back and the place didn't get too full--a rarity for Adams Morgan on a Friday. While they've got a fairly comprehensive song list for your crooning pleasure, no one appeared to take the Karaoke too seriously (which is nice for those of us with questionable vocal talent). All in all, a good time.

Posted by cs at 12:57 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 9, 2004

You just can't stop him

They spent $80 million in investigations, wrote dozens of books filled with lies and filled most of the AM Dial with attacks on the man, but the right never learned that there ain't no way to keep Bill Clinton down. Proof: he won a Grammy and beat his wife too (in the competition, that is). Al Franken also won a spoken-word award for his reading of Lying Liars. [from Swamp City]

Also of note at the Grammys: Chris Martin, a pale imitation of Damon Albarn but nonetheless far more popular, endorsed John Kerry. Is a Thom Yorke endorsement far behind?

All told, it was a pretty good night to be a Democrat.


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Rocking the Vote until it comes loose

The same black-box voting machines used in the D.C. primary last month are a disaster in Fairfax. When will they learn?

Posted by rj3 at 12:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 5, 2004

Good morning Baghdad!

Iraqi blogger Salam Pax is listening to Armed Forces Radio in Baghdad and he's telling us what's on. They're playing Rage (temporarily blacklisted after 9/11), teaching soldiers how to say "hello" in Arabic after nine months in the country and running PSAs (dry socks are apparently not a major issue in this campaign).

As for Salam, he'd rather hear BRMC and The Rapture, which means that at leason one person over there has some sense.

Posted by rj3 at 8:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Extreme Clark Couture


It's unfair that the media will focus on clothing over substantive issues, but surrounding yourself with people who take the attention off of you is probably counterproductive.

Is that Jeb Bush?

Posted by rj3 at 8:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

National Dempoons Kentucky Vacation

Hey Dems! Spend President's Day weekend in Kentucky working on a congressional campaign. And bring back some Bourbon.

Posted by rj3 at 2:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 4, 2004

Rock & Roll, but in a wussy Massachusetts liberal way

For a trivial sum, you can have John Kerry's garage rock album. I bet it's better than the other big album from a 2004 candidate, Dennis Kucinich and the Department of Peace Live at Budokan.

You know how "successful" bloggers advertise their Amazon wish lists so grateful readers can buy them nice things? Well, buy me this. Please. I promise to clean my room. Please?

Posted by rj3 at 9:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sounds of City--Part II

Heard on 15th St NW between L and M:

"We're not dealing with that New York City T.A. goat fuck"

--I don't know.

Posted by cs at 4:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Whistle-Blower Laws?

According to the Washington Post, the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) fired "a high-ranking manager last year who had repeatedly warned top agency officials and federal authorities of lead contamination in the city's tap water before tests last summer revealed that the lead exceeded federal limits in thousands of homes."

Its nice to know that WASA is looking out for us. Apparently Seema S. Bhat was fired for repeatedly disregarding the chain of command.

Posted by cs at 4:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sounds of the City

Overheard on the corner of 15th and L NW:

"Democrats walk everywhere. They walk to work; Democrats will walk a half-hour to go to work."

Posted by cs at 2:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

At least you don't live in Virginia

So what if we have chemical weapons, lead in the water, school shootings and crime witness murders -- at least we don't have our elected representatives wasting their time on Confederate History Month.

If I was as intent on celebrating my failures as southerners, I'd buy myself a cake every year on the anniversary of the first time I failed my driving test.

Posted by rj3 at 1:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 3, 2004

Ricin Pudding

The S.O.B.s are closed due to a ricin scare in Sen. Bill "The Kitty Kevorkian" Frist's office. Lucky staffers.

Posted by rj3 at 10:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Get the lead out

So some of us are drinking tap water with lead levels 30 times the federal limit and WASA knew about it but didn't bother to tell anybody for a year. Lovely.

Also lovely: quoted in the above article is a one Cleopatra Jones of Bloomingdale, near Howard University.

Posted by rj3 at 9:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 2, 2004

But she's still not the strangest Jackson

When I saw "the exposure" during the halftime show, everybody I was watching with was shocked/appaled/amazed by the "dramatic" ending of the Timberlake/Jackson performance, but I wasn't convinced. They couldn't do that on network TV, could they? I was sure what we actually saw was a costume change that didn't work compeletely, a sequened number not completely unveiled for a song cut short by time constraints.

In fact, I was convinced it wouldn't be an big deal the next day. When three hours later on the Metro, some big burly stranger decided to talk to me about it, I only began to grasp how wrong I was. Now, offices worldwide are buzzing with idle chatter about the exposure. DCSOB promises to stay above the fray by not discussing it.

Starting now.

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