June 30, 2004

I always said he was the Jeff Probst of presidential candidates

Al Sharpton to host a reality show.

"I'm the working man's [Donald] Trump," Sharpton said. "He brings people into the penthouse. We bring them into the house."

Pardon my whiteness, but what the hell does that mean? I thought the phrase was "in the house" and changing the preposition destroys the idiom. Then again, I thought people wouldn't watch other people eating cow rectums for prizes.

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June 29, 2004

Out, damn spot!

How come the hand stamp from the Black Cat is so much harder to wash off than the hand stamp from nearly anywhere else? Do they want the quality of my work to be under suspicion all day because I went out last night and I might be hungover, even when I'm not?

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June 28, 2004

Josh Marshall bombshell watch

Jeez, now he's just teasing.

So here's the rundown: Before his big vacation, JMM tells his readers he's resting up before the release of an explosive bombshell that will almost certainly rock Washington. Now, he dribbles out a little more information. This had better be good.

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You get to solve my stupid weekend conflict!

This is an issue so stupid, so worthless and so irrelevant that the only place I could possibly solve it is here on this blog.

The scene: Saturday, at Saint-Ex. Sitting at the table with my goblet of Stella Artois (which is the same price as a much larger pint of the same stuff downstairs. Go figure.) A friend calls me, looking for the bar. The phone conversation goes as follows:

ME: "It's on 14th and T."

FRIEND: "Where?"

ME: "14th and T."

FRIEND: "P or T?"

ME: "T"

FRIEND: "What?"

ME: "T, as in 'I pity the fool!'"

FRIEND: "OK, see you in a few minutes."

Twenty minutes later, my friend walks into the bar, furious that I gave her incorrect directions. Apparently, she thought I meant "P as in Pity" Instead of "T, like Mr. T, who says 'I pity the fool.'"

Who's right - me or her?

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In defense of Moonie-crowning congressmen?

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, a columnist who believes the claims of congressmen who say they had no idea they were crowning Rev. Moon the "King of Peace":

"But as for not being fully briefed in advance about the 'crowning' of a guy who claims to channel Stalin and Hitler, I believe Weldon. Attending a Moon-sponsored event is an hours-long ordeal that few people with any sense would endure to its mind-numbing conclusion. I know because I heard Moon speak at a banquet in Washington in May 2002.

It was the 20th anniversary celebration of the Washington Times, for which I worked. (No, there was no shift selling flowers at the airport.) I had never seen Moon, and I persuaded my wife (no, it wasn't an arranged marriage) to come along for the same reason people drive slowly past bus accidents."

In other Moonie Times news, the discounting continues: a street vendor at Judiciary Square is selling it with the Wall Street Journal for 75 cents combined, 50 cents off the newsstand price.

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June 25, 2004

Fahrenheit 1998

From the content warning at the bottom of the Post's review of The Hunting of the President:

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill Clinton (89 minutes, at Visions Bar Noir) is not rated. It contains testimony about sexual relations.

Does that strike you as a little over-the-top?

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June 24, 2004

Guaranteed better than Soul Plane

N.M. has become a film industry executive groupie.

M.G. already has tickets in hand.

I think it's safe to say D.C. is catching Fahrenheit fever.

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You know your news network sucks when...

...Your competitor gets nearly as many viewers as you do when they don't have any sound.

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June 23, 2004

Well, you won't be able to call it Groggy Bottom

On page three of this morning's Express, there's an ad that says, "What's better than a Starbucks opening in your neighborhood? Two Starbucks opening in your neighborhood." Following, of course, were the addresses of two new Starbucks opening in Foggy Bottom. After the requesite groan, I thought of some things that are better than two Starbucks opening in my neighborhood:

  • Urban Safeways with fresh food and decent selection. Like, you know, suburban Safeways.
  • Bus routes not frequented by crazy people. It's always buses, never trains, for some reason.
  • A used record shop in my neighborhood.
  • A batting cage in my neighborhood. That would be sweet.
  • An end to the repaving of R Street.
  • A $1 across-the-board cut in the price of drinks at the 9:30 Club.
  • Marshmellow Peeps. They should sell those year-round.

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Transpotting, D.C.-style

Ever wanted to go trainspotting in D.C.? Neither did we. But just in case you can't get enough MARC Train action, the Washington Post tells you how to be a railfan.

Why? No idea. Even us transit nerds don't take it to these extremes, even if we do take special trips to visit Metro bathrooms.

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Battle of the studio names

From the Moonie Times, via DCRTV:

First, WMAL talker Michael Graham renamed his studio after Ronald Reagan. Now archrival WTOP has rechristened its 'glass enclosed nerve center' in honor of the father of broadcast journalism, Edward R. Murrow. It began when WTOP news chief Jim Farley read about Mr. Graham's stunt on dcrtv.com, an industry gossip site. Mr. Farley jokingly told the site's editor that WTOP would name its studio after Mr. Murrow. But Mr. Farley's crew genuinely liked the idea, so he decided to make it a real tribute. He said it makes sense, too, because WTOP carried Mr. Murrow's newscasts. This columnist, feeling inspired, has decided to rename his cubicle to honor a famous dead person to be determined later."

From now on, this blog will come to you from the Spiro Agnew Blogging Center and Pit Beef Palace.

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June 22, 2004

Just another Saturday in Adams Morgan

When I refer to people who go to places like 1223 or Tom Tom as largely Bridge and Tunnel, some people ask me what I mean. I mean these people.

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Loudoun baseball

You can have it. You don't expect us to show, so as long as you don't expect us to pay for it in some sort of regional tax scheme, you can make your traffic worse and throw a few hundred million dollars away to build a stadium for some consortium of rich guys.

More thoughts from back in the off-season here.

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June 21, 2004

Totally useless retrospective weekend planner: "If it's not Scottish, it's cr*p" edition

Saturday: A tip for visiting Eastern Market: Sample the sorbet after you visit the hot sauce stand, not before.

In the evening, check out Mclusky at the Black Cat. Are they as vicious as they sound on CD? Hell yeah. Ongoing themes throughout the concert: Eric Clapton worship, Tia Maria and the bassists' girlfriend's birthday. Big dissapointment: no encore.

Sunday: Enjoy the unseasonably mild weather by biking down the path next to the GW Parkway. Notice how much the smoke at the Black Cat damages your ability to keep up with the other bikers. Undo any health benefits of the ride by getting a huge waffle cone on King Street in Alexandria.

Before the sun sets, head over to the 9:30 to see Franz Ferdinand. See the lead singer tooling around outside on a bicycle, looking like an emaciated schoolboy.

The first opening band, Delegate, sucks. That's all I'm gonna say.

The second opening band, Sons and Daughters, has a mandolin.

Between acts, heckle the WHFS DJ who announces the show will be recorded for a DVD. Incidentally, best heckling of a media personality: a disembodied voice at the Hives concert in Towson, Md., in June, 2002, yelled "Bring me the head of Gideon Yago" while the MTV2 VJ (Rob Shearer, possibly?) tried to introduce the band.

When FF finally comes, at about 10:30, notice how the crowd is about 75% male, if not more. Aren't they supposed to be heartthrobs?

Rock out.

Get pizza.

Go home.

UPDATE: Name of Sunday's second band corrected.

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June 19, 2004

A journalistic barnacle

On line at a popular Bethesda out-of-town newsagent this morning, I saw the man in front of me inquire as to whether he could still get a free Washington Times with his purchase of a New York Times. He could, and he got both Timeses for $1.05.

Since the New York Times is owned by NYT Co. and the Washington Times is owned by a bizarre cult, this is not a marketing ploy by the papers.

Quite simply, they're having trouble giving away copies of the Washington Times. This isn't new either - they've been doing this at some area 7-11s for months.

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June 18, 2004

Cultists' catfight

What does it take to make the Moonies seem reasonable?

The Washington Times op-ed page.

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June 17, 2004

Stay away from perilously stacked piles

...Because there's an earthquake on the way. So says Josh Marshall, who has a lot to live up to after making boasts like this:

You may have noticed a slight down-tick in the frequency of posts of late. And thatís for a few different reasons. But a principal one is that I and several colleagues have been working on a story that, if and when it comes to fruition --- and Iím confident it shall --- should shuffle the tectonic plates under that capital city where I normally hang my hat. So thatís something to look forward to in the not too distant future. And thatís taken some of my time away from TPM and prevented me from sharing with you some delectable tidbits which otherwise I would have loved to have done.

Mind you, the guy has delivered in the past. He shot down a GOP scheme to disenfranchise Native Americans in South Dakota before the 2002 elections. He writes a consistently killer column for The Hill and generally better than everyone on TV in just about every way (except for TV skills - he's surprisingly boring to watch the few times he's been on) and is the largest reason I'm blogging at all.

Which may or may not be a good thing for me.

Or you.

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A rare victory for common sense

As much as I'd like to go to bars without being surrounded by underage 19-year-olds with daddy's credit card and a taste for the music of Lil' John, I'm glad the police can't make arrests for underage drinking.

It's good for the economy, it's good for stopping binge drinking and it's good for the cops, who have better things to do.

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June 16, 2004

A missed connection

Linked without comment.

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Hey there Mr. Reader, merry fu*king Bloomsday

A South Park reference and a James Joyce shout out in the same post? You better believe it!

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June 15, 2004

Let down

So that "secret" Beastie Boys show at the 9:30 Club on Thursday isn't really that secret. How does a "secret" show sell out in eight minutes? I hate people who liberally use the forward function on their email clients.

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Underneath Their Robes

Like Gawker, but for judges.

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"Don't go there"

I'll buy you a burrito if you can get me a roll (or stack, whatever they come in) of the coasters mentioned in this article.

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June 11, 2004

Boom, Boom, Boom

As I am writing this, I can feel the concussive blasts of the 21-gun salute hit my office building. It sounds like the moment in Jurassic Park right before the T-Rex nearly kills Jeff Goldblum, or Newman, or whichever B-list actor was in that scene.

Of course, for this to be a true salute to Reagan, they should have tied a Nicaraguan nun to the front of each of the guns.

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June 10, 2004

The Southern Strategy comes alive

Yesterday afternoon, I took a slight detour on the way to the Metro, walking for three blocks along Constitution Avenue to see how big the crowds for the Reagan procession were. Not as big as the crowd on Broadway when the Yankees won the World Series in 1996, but not bad considering the short notice and awful heat.

But one thing about the crowds stood out. If you take out the office workers walking on the street behind the waiting masses and the police officers watching the crowd, I counted only three non-white people in a three-block stretch that contained hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people.

For a state funeral that didn't carry any tinge of partisanship (aside from the weeklong media hagiographyfest) it was quite surprising the people who cared enough to come out to Constitution Avenue were such an unrepresentative group.

Ronald Reagan: divisive in life, divisive in death.

UPDATE: I guess there was a little diversity, if only by geographic accident; Suitland wasn't part of the official procession with the horses and the cassion.

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"Incoming plane!"

How not to handle an evacuation.

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June 9, 2004

Department of Lunch

The Oculus has the lowdown on the best cafeterias in D.C. They're right about the Senate (it sucks) and the Supreme Court (pretty good). One addition: the Hirshhorn Gallery serves up some pretty good chow, but it's expensive. They also have about a bazillion kinds of gelato.

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Habeas corpus en routus

Let me get this straight: The Reagan funeral convoy will go from Andrews AFB towards D.C. on the Suitland Parkway, over to 295, back down 395 out of town, across on the G.W. parkway and then back up the Memorial Bridge and across Constitution Avenue?

Is it possible to think of a more convoluted route to block more major highways?

Let's make one thing clear: Although I don't much like Ronald Reagan as a President, he was one, and he deserves a state funeral, complete with parade and all the trimmings. But 295 to 395? That's just bad management.

The last state funeral was LBJ's in 1973. One wonders how everyone got around without Metro.

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June 8, 2004

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

A little old, but for the sake of closure: the side of free speech won the battle of drug legalization ads on the Metro.


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Don't f*ck with Alexander Hamilton

I'm about as mad as I can get right now, having missed my morning cup of coffee, at Grover Norquist and his band of fools. Maybe they should put Reagan's face on savings bonds, since he is so connected with our national debt.

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June 7, 2004

Gabba Gabba Hey

A little perspective in the midst of the Reagan hagiography-blitz. Just the tip of the iceberg, of course, but it's a start.

UPDATE: Some more.

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Things I learned this weekend

1. An attractive woman walking on the sidewalk can cause a car accident, but an accumulation of breasts and boobs can completely snarl traffic.

2. "Money for jobs and education/ not for war and occupation" is perhaps the clunkiest protest line in the global history of disagreement. It was so unmemorable, in fact, that I had to write it down just to tell you how bad it was.

3. Check out Joe's Noodle House in Rockville. After months of awful steam table Chinese at lunch, their noodles brought back my faith in grease and leftovers.

4. Bicycles are really expensive. Is anyone selling theirs?

5. People at the Black Cat are mean and like to stare at anyone not wearing black. People at Saint-Ex are sweaty. People at Kramerbooks after 1 a.m. are drunk.

6. Get ready to trundle down Reagan Boulevard to your local ReaganRail station, where you can catch the Ronnie Line to Reagan Plaza. There, you can drop a Reagan on a Ronburger at your local Ronald McReagan's. After a few years of getting numb to the Reaganization of American proper nouns, brace yourself for the seat of government at Reagangrad, D.C.

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June 4, 2004

Making D.C. LaRouche free

At a progressive conference in Woodley Park, Howard Dean shows he can still do a smackdown with the best of 'em:

After a question from a Swiss reporter about Tenet's resignation, Dean fielded two questions from Lyndon LaRouche supporters, who asked why LaRouche wasn't welcome at the Democratic convention. Dean's response: "He's a convicted felon." (After the conference ended, one of the young LaRouche supporters, sensing he was being mocked by one of the reporters, said, "No trash talking from the old baby boomers," which prompted the overweight, bearded reporter to respond, "I'll take you out on your ass." Violence, however, did not ensue.)

Let's Go Ho Ho!

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Takin' it to the streets

Michael from the Oculus warns of a nasty weekend ahead, with three marches, including one for breasts (Race for the Cure) and one by boobs (A.N.S.W.E.R.), clogging the streets of our fair city. I suggest heading for the shore.

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Friday funnies

Just posted on a left-leaning political jobs mailing list:

Subject: Job Opening: Director of Central Intelligence

Qualifications: Smart. Good attention to detail.
People-oriented. Reform-minded. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

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I want my free concerts!

Just a thought: What ever happened to G Street Live, that free concert series next to the MCI Center? It ran for the past two years, and occasionally had some decent recent-retro acts. If it's really gone for good, it would be a shame.

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June 3, 2004


I'd love to hear the backstory behind this.

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You down with ICC

Nope, not me.

That's because the Inter-County Connector between I-95 and I-270 is the single most wasteful highway project in America, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense.

It's a sham project that's just a way to force the construction of an outer beltway.

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June 2, 2004

A word of warning

The Summer Driving Season is upon us, and I have noticed that with it comes Summer Ticket Season, with speed traps popping up all over the area. Here are some of of the worst:

  • Glebe Rd. just south of Chain Bridge in Arlington, where the road widens to two lanes in each direction but the speed limit is still 25.
  • Canal Rd., NW., just southeast of Arizona Avenue
  • 0-100 Blocks of Michigan Ave. NE (automated)
  • Connecticut Ave., between Chevy Chase Cir. and Bradley La. in Bethesda
  • VA-110, between Memorial Bridge and I-395. Sure, it's not speeders those dozens of cop cars and Humvees are looking for, but still.
  • All of I-270. Seriously.
  • I-95, between 695 and 395 in Baltimore, especially just north of 695 where the speed limit is reduced to 55.

Feel free to post any other speed traps you know of here.

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June 1, 2004

We shall welease Wodewick!

If you haven't already, you really ought to catch Life of Brian at the E Street Cinema. It's a nice palate clenser after Passion fever gripped the nation (and this blog) earlier this year.

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Washington, D.C.

At least it's better than Provo.

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