October 31, 2004

Red skins, Blue states

Nuts to the Redskins
No victory
Dems on the warpath
Good for John Ker-ee

Although the outcome is assured, P. Diddy will still brutally murder you if you don't vote.

Oh, and congrats to Catherine on her move(ment) and, um, the whole running a marathon thing.

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October 30, 2004

Methadone for political junkies

Sitting outside a Starbucks today, they started coming in drips and drabs. Catching up on back New Yorkers, I started to notice the occasional zombie, then two or three devils, an errant George W. Bush. Then, the torrent became a flood. Thank goodness that Halloween comes right before the election - I think my head would explode otherwise.

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October 29, 2004

Donnie Demo


Jake Gyllenhaal is stumping for Kerry. I think this means that we have the sleepwalking apocalyptic teenager vote in our column. As long as they make it past Haloween.

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It means exactly what you think it does

Ok, enough about how you can't do anything this election day. Parker and Stone remind us to Vote or Die, Motherf*ckers! (sound req'd).

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October 28, 2004

A pre-election discussion primer

We’re deep into T-minus time and things are getting a little crazy around these parts. With no tossup states nearby (sorry Virginia, you’re not going Blue), the only thing that’s left to do is talk, talk, talk. In bars, in restaurants, on the phone with you’re relatives back home, there is nowhere to hide from the endless speculation and strategizing about how The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetime is going to turn out. You can’t spit in this town without hocking your loogie on someone counting electoral votes or hashing out a scenario of some sort.

STOP IT!!!

Seriously, there’s no way the tea leaves everybody is reading now will tell you who the winner will be. Take the electoral vote calculators that have become too popular. Every day, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people are going to this site every day and wiggin’ out about every last shift of the electoral vote totals. You’re wasting your time because:

- The site updates with every new poll, even if the polls are from different organizations. Different polls ask different questions. You’re comparing apples to oranges. In the case of so-called “robo-polls” that use pre-recorded tapes and take answers by touch-tone, apples to apple-flavored Jolly Ranchers.
- The site doesn’t give you any of the “internals” that tell you who the poll actually reached. How many Democrats? How many Republicans? How many respondents? These things matter.
- Imagine living in a place like Ohio. Pollsters could be calling you every day during dinner. Unless you’re a solid partisan who wants to make your party look strong, why would you answer the phone after the, say, twentieth time?

Right now, everything we know leads to the conclusion that it’s going to be very close. Therefore, unless some major news breaks that hurts one of the candidates, this election will be decided on factors such as whether it’s raining in Cleveland or if there’s traffic on Interstate 94.

Speaking of Cleveland, we’re focusing on Ohio right now, as well as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and a few other states we think will be close. In 2000, the media obsessed about the same Upper Midwest states, but the closest results turned out to be Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Oregon and New Hampshire. If any of these states are three points away from where the pollsters tell us they are, the lawyers and protestors are packing up shop post haste.

That being said, unless you plan to actually do something (like going out to a swing state and driving the senile to the polls) there’s nothing you can do anymore and hashing it out constantly won't help.

So relax and rent a movie or something. When the revolution comes, you’ll want to be well rested.

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After the lunar eclipse, the Moon is back

No, not the harmless one in the sky that's filled with gorganzola (mmmm... gorganzola), but the scary cult leader who owns a "major" (read: has a lot of orange boxes on the street) newspaper. Bill Gertz, who wrote an amazing story appearing in today's edition on how the Iraqi military, despite essentially evaporating and not really fighting the U.S. during the invasion, cooperated with the Russians to smuggle 380 tons of stinking caca (sorry, qa qaa) out of the country at the very last moment with nary a peep from our spy sattelites.

Gertz looks to be a Moonie true believer, who recieved major praise from the Moon Man himself and whose wife went to a Moonie retreat in Korea.

Buzz over to Tbogg, who found some interesting comments in this wingnut's blog:


The Washington Times is a very careful and thorough journalistic organization. Rev. Moon is indeed a very strange individual, if not even downright weird---but he has nothing to do with running the newspaper. Moon is similar in this respect to the church leaders who apparently still own the Christian Science Monitor. And yes, The Washington Times is far more reliable than The New York Times. It earns our respect. So much so, that one is hard pressed to point out any major blunders by any of its journalists. Are there any?

Yeppers. Independent. Very independent. You are free to leave whenever you want...

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Graveyard shift election-watching

I'm not happy that I will be missing out on the many election night parties in bars, clubs and houses across D.C. I have a job that requires me to report for duty on Wednesday morning, so I'm not going to stay up until closing time just to hear cautious anchors say it's "too close to call" until everyone is too drunk, distraught or distracted to notice.

So instead of trying to stay up late, I'd like to wake up early. Ideally, I would go to bed right after work (and voting, because I don't want to die) and wake up at 3 a.m. Who do you think will have a good after-hours election scene? So far, I'm thinking about Diner, but I'm not the biggest fan of their food or service.

Any other bright ideas?

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October 27, 2004

Washington School of Manners

El WaPo's Sally Quinn (wasn't she an MTV VJ in the 80s who did the zit cream commercials?) tells us how to deal with moving from the party in power to the party out of power, and vice versa. Apparently, the key to remaining popular and viable when your side eventually returns from the political wilderness is to:

- Not be a dick;
- Find a new way to feed your family;
- Consider leaving D.C., but don't do so if you like it here;
- Be nice to your "friends," who are apparently people who spend time with you even if you don't have any money or status to offer them;
- Not be a dick.

Next week in "How to behave around and relate to your fellow homo sapiens," an in-depth discussion of when and where it is acceptable to punch people in the mouth.

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October 26, 2004

The bluest place on earth

Yes, we all know that D.C.'s three electoral votes will go to John Kerry, but did you know that Ralph Nader is only five points behind George Bush?. That's the size of Bush's lead in Arizona and Kerry's in Minnesota, according to the most recent polling in those states.

Part of me wants to start a movement in the District to get people to vote for Nader just to make W finish third. How awesome would that be?

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LaRouche kills dissenters dead

Really scary article on my least favorite Metro station political group, from el WaPo.

Things you need to know:


LaRouche is more than a mischief-maker; he's a felon. In 1988, LaRouche was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and conspiracy to hide his personal income. Prosecutors argued that aggressive LaRouche fundraisers solicited more than $30 million in loans from supporters, many elderly, with false assurances they'd be repaid. While some lenders lost their life savings, the LaRouche organization spent millions on property, a swimming pool and a horse riding ring, according to testimony.

[...]


To join forces with LaRouche -- to enter his world of conspiracies and counter-conspiracies -- you have to accept that everything you know, even the way you think, is wrong.

[....]

"They say things like LaRouche is a leader of a cult or that he is anti-Semitic, or some other vile epithet," the [LaRouchie press] release says. "Don't be fooled by these rumors and lies." They originate from Gestapo-style "thought police," and the families of the financial oligarchy who "exert control over politics in the U.S., through the top-down management of 'approved' popular beliefs, and religions, just as the oligarchy of the Roman Empire administered political control through the approved pantheon of pagan gods."

So for those of you who think my yelling and obscene gesturing at LaRouchies in Dupont Circle is intolerant and mean, this article should make it obvious that they deserve no sympathy.

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M. Charry: Don't Vote or Die

Maybe newspaper competition in Washington is a good thing. Perhaps we need an ugly-looking, unabashedly partisan cult-funded sh*trag to counterbalance the sometimes-lazy but generally-respectable Post.

But while we may benefit from alternate viewpoints on taxes, social security reform and whether or not an elderly South Korean criminal is in fact the messiah, I'm not sure we need to have a reflexive yes-no argument on every single issue.

Like when Mona Charen starts telling some people not to vote because they're too dumb to make a good choice.

And I don't think she means these people, because the're useful idiots.

So get out and vote, even if you have to trample a middle-aged right-wing blowhard wrech with a pantsuit and a colander-cut to get to your polling place.

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October 25, 2004

Pleasant Mt. Pleasant

Due to a scheduling error, I found myself killing time on the streets of Mt. Pleasant on Saturday morning. At Mt. Pleasant and Park, I found this interesting use for an old call box:
pleasant.jpg
It's a diorama of Civil War soldiers being brought from the battlefield to temporary hospitals in the neighborhood. Below is a panel explaining the scene and the larger project, in which boxes all over the neighborhood hold little vignettes about the neighborhood at various times in its history.

How clever!

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Inanimate objects for Kerry

This is too good not to share:

Randal Wagner was removing Kerry-Edwards signs from lawns in Lakewood when he allegedly shoved one homeowner who tried to stop him, according to a police report. He later ended up tripping over a chain- link fence and knocking himself out. He was charged with trespassing and theft.

No further comment.

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October 22, 2004

Going to Baltimore to see a "Pharmacist." Heh heh.

I spent way too little time shaking the sheets last night, since I went to Baltimore with KG to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, fresh on the heels of their new album, Shake the Sheets. My eyes are droopy, my coffee mug is not nearly large enough to hold the amount of coffee I need and my ears are ringing, but it was worth it.

First of all, it is worth noting that seeing a show at Baltimore's Ottobar is very different from going to the 9:30 or the Black Cat. Aside from the fact that most Ottobarians get their clothes from thrift stores in Hampden instead of Banana Republic and thus look like actual hipsters, it's worth noting that some people get really drunk at the Ottobar. Downing six $2.75 Yuenglings is much more appealing than drinking as many little cups of Miller Lite at the 9:30 for $4 a pop, especially when your average Baltimorean pays about 30-40 percent less in rent than most Washingtonians.

That being said, KG and I spent the set of opening act Engine Down (soulless Richmond pretty-boys, barely worth mentioning) behind an extremely drunk woman, who stopped her wild and uncoordinated dancing only to chug from her beer, which was probably all foam. Worried that one of us would catch a flailing elbow to the jaw, we watched her trot out her squatting-stripper moves for nobody in particular. Even worse, this plain-looking girl wasn't even dancing to dancable music, just Engine Down's alt-rock pap.

Finally, TL/Rx came on, albiet well past my bedtime. Although KG said the show was somewhat sloppy (perhaps due to the fact that it was the first gig on the tour), I thought they held together well. The crowd, drunk as many were, seemed to know most of the words to the songs on Hearts of Oak and weren't afraid to share.

At the very least, Ted & Co. cleansed my palate after the Libertines' crummy performance on Tuesday.

Is Ted Leo the savior of Rock & Roll, as many people have claimed? Maybe, although I've heard it before about other acts that failed to live up to their billing. But either way, I'm seeing him again the next time he plays D.C.

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Tony Williams is no Mussolini

I hope you all enjoyed your Red Line trips this morning...

(No, that was not a compliment for Mussolini, so quit yer yappin'.)

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October 21, 2004

Get in gear for Thanksgiving

While the Jews for Jesus accosting me at my Metro station did annoy me, I am thankful that it wasn't these guys.

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It's now OK to read these blogs:

I know my audience loves reading one technical updates post after another, so I've decided to do housekeeping twice today and add some blogs I've been reading for a while but have been too lazy to add to the blogroll:

Information Leafblower by Kyle, who scored free Ted Leo tix for tonight;
Unrequited Narcissism featuring Catherine, who rolls with the DCist crew (recently traded from the Mara Salvatruchas for Jen Chung and a draft pick to be named later);
C-130 by Jeff, a recovering Arkansan who also likes zombie comedies.

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Bring me your tired, your poor, your free tickets

Now all you viral marketers and struggling artists can shower me with your promotional goodies in exchange for extensive coverage on this site for our literally dozens of regular readers.

biatchsetmeup (at) gmail (dot) com

Of course, you can also feel free to use the email for personal correspondence if you'd like to ask me questions that don't fit into the comments.

For those of you who know my regular email, continue to use it; this is just a forwarder for my alter-ego.

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October 20, 2004

Upped the Bracket

It was a blogger-heavy evening at the 9:30 Club for the Radio 4/Libertines show last night. We had N.M., Kyle from the Leafblower and DCist, Catherine and Mike from DCist and a brief cameo from Megadork, whom I'm starting to think doesn't like to be greeted with "hey, Megadork!"

Oddly missing is DCeiver, who seems to like Radio 4. But having missed the DCist launch and a number of other blogger get-togethers, one wonders what he's up to. Is he horribly deformed? Does he blog from prison? Does he actually live in Loudoun County? We may never know...

Anyway, about the show: Radio 4 was "eeeh." I really like their albums (except for the new one), and I think some of their strength is drawn from good production, which puts the scratchy guitars and dicsoesque bassline front and center. The mix was a muddle last night, and it really didn't help the performance. Also, for a band that makes such danceable music, they don't put on much of a stage show.

As for the Libertines, they were similarly boring, despite the band's sharing of a bottle of Jameson's over the course of their set, which was longer than the sum of their recorded output, even though they skipped at least one song -- "What Katie Did." Looking a little schlubby, they went predictably through the songs, and didn't really do or play anything interesting. Other people think they're great live, but I didn't see it.

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October 19, 2004

Plenty of junk (in the trunk)

The Maryland Senate race between Barbara Mikulski and E.J. Pipkin may end up being a one-sided affair, but it won't be pretty. How not pretty?

This not pretty.


If you've been watching local news over the last few weeks, you may have seen the ads in which the challenger Pipkin (R) attacks Babs for raising taxes, hating the troops and generally being a Democrat. "Now you know" is the tagline, which is almost as annoying as those "Empire Today" ads. Mikulski shot back in ads informing the public that Pipkin made his money on Wall Street in junk bonds. High-interest debt is not by nature shady, and it was a fairly low blow, especially since she's not accusing Pipkin of being a tubby version of Michael Milken.

But in his opening remarks during last night's debate, Pipkin showed he doesn't know how to fight back:

"If you use a Nextel phone or are watching this on a cable station owned by Comcast, those are companies that have used junk bonds to finance their growth," Pipkin said.

Comcast. Nextel. Could there be any businesses more hated by consumers than mobile phones and cable television? Could either firm have worse service? Why not just say you'll work hard to keep those CVS cashiers chatting on the phone pretending not to see you while you stand two feet from them with your rubbers, shampoo and toilet paper? Could he be any less sympathetic? Should I stop with the rhetorical questions already?

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The joke is on you, F*ck yeah!

I saw Team America: World Police yesterday and I would have snarfed my coke and popcorn all over the place had I arrived at the theater in time to get some. Damn my compulsion to see all the trailers!

This warblogger has a roundup of blogospheric opinion on the movie. Many people seem to be saying that this film is a right-wing criticism of the anti-war left, but I don't see it.

To me, the movie was a parody of how the right views terrorism and the War on Terror, leaving egg on the faces of people whose worldview meshes with the (literally) wooden lead charachters. I could almost imagine Glenn Reynolds sneaking into his basement to act out the movie with his Team America playset.

Team America is not just about how right-wingers think about Hollywood actors, it's about how anti-war folks like me think right-wingers view the world. To them (in our minds), Americans are action-movie good guys, going around and killing the easily-identifiable terrorists with WMDs that have little blinking lights to let you know they're dangerous, while liberal idiot celebrities try to stop the fight by conspiring with dictators using their considerable power in world affairs. Intelligence can't be mishandled or spun or selectively interpreted because it comes from an all-seeing computer that takes the blame for mistakes.

What they fail to understand is that celebrities are just like you and me: they watch the news, read newspapers and end up with opinions. However, when we rant at the dinner table or attend a rally or cut a check, it doesn't end up on TV. Ironically, Hollywood liberals only have the power Rupert Murdoch & Co. grant them.

That being said, given my 8-year-old's sense of humor, I found the vomit scene to be the funniest, all politics aside.

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October 18, 2004

And you think the parking in Bethesda is bad!

Once again, we turn to the Baltimore paper's crime blotter for entertainment:

Assault: Osita Odunze, 36, a driver for Checker Cab, and the driver of a sport utility vehicle were arguing over a parking space in the 300 block of S. Caroline St. about 4 p.m. Saturday when the SUV driver got out with a revolver and fired at least one errant shot at the cabbie before speeding away.

SUV drivers: Short temper, little tolerance, tiny something else...

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October 17, 2004

Wild, Wonderful, Incarcerated

picture(9).jpg

17th St., NW, Sunday afternoon.

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October 15, 2004

Picture me confused

Earlier this week, I blogged about my paranoia when making an abortive attempt to photograph the Iraqi embassy.

Now Citypaper has decided to test the limits of tolerance for photography and have found those limits to be fairly restrictive. As it turns out, there are a lot of humorless rent-a-cops who don't think you're allowed to photograph feredal property.

Of course, it would be one thing to be banned from taking pictures on government property, since they are the landowners and have the right to set restrictions on what you do on their land. But photographing buildings from the middle of the street ought to be legal, even if it does let the terrorists bosses back in Tora Bora know that most major federal buildings have Jersey barriers in front of them (duh). If there's really something to hide about the building itself, why not call in Christo:

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Franz Ferdinand saturation

I just watched two ads in a row on the Fox 5 (WTTG) morning news featuring FF's "Jacqueline," one for the baseball playoffs and one for Saab. The baseball ad I'd seen before, the Saab spot is new.

Does this mean that they're officially over, a la Fatboy Slim? I really hope not.

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October 14, 2004

The big debate question

I know what an AK-47 is, and I understood when Kerry spoke about them.

But what the everloving f*ck is a "salt weapon"?

Does it work on "terraists" with high blood pressure?

Do you use it to make the wounds inflicted by other weaponry sting more?

Is it a defensive weapon used to dry up the foam forming on the side of your mouth?

If we get four more years of that manufactured twang, I'm going to stop watching TV news.

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October 13, 2004

The Capitol building ratted on the mob

The seat of the legislative branch would like to remain anonymous and have its image obscured so it can get on with its new life under the Witness Protection Program as a Dairy Queen in New Jersey.

capitol.jpg

(via Terraserver)

The reason this is so mildly amusing is that while most of these services block out national security targets, they usually just black out portions of the map instead of using a technique straight out of 20/20.

By the way, I think that this also means the Library of Congress is fair game for attack.

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Moon and Sinclair: How long did you think it would take?

As a child of the 80s, I was a big fan of 3-2-1 Contact, an educational program on PBS. One of the songs from that show was about the properties of the number 9, namely that any number multiplied by 9 would create a new number the digits of which could be added together to make 9 or another number the digits of which would add up to 9. Try it some time.

Anyway, the ditty went like this:

Nine, nine, nine
Fantastic number nine
Take any number you can find
it all comes back to nine.

The tune is useful still, not just in math. I propose the following update:


Moon, Moon, Moon
The fascist Reverend Moon
Take any unhinged right-wing loon
It all comes back to Moon.

So when you find that the right-wing propaganda Sinclair Broadcasting Co. intends to interrupt affiliates' programming with right before the election has a Moon connection, don't be surprised, since "It all comes back to Moon."

Here's how it works.

The guy behind the "documentary," Carlton Sherwood, is a former employee of the Washington Times, a money-losing newspaper that Moon has funded for two decades to spread his theocratic conservative views to the few people curious or stupid enough to read it.

But that's not where the connection ends. Sherwood claims to have written Inquisition, an "expose" of the Moonies for Regnery, a right-wing imprint that also published the Swift Boat Vets book. But leading Moonie debunker John Gorenfeld found that it wasn't much of a fair fight at all, according to a 1992 investigation:

"The week after talking to Regnery, FRONTLINE obtained a copy of a letter addressed to Sun Myung Moon. The letter was written by James Gavin, a Moon aide. Gavin tells Moon he reviewed the "overall tone and factual contents" of Inquisition before publication and suggested revisions. Gavin adds that the author "Mr. Sherwood has assured me that all this will be done when the manuscript is sent to the publisher." Gavin concludes by telling Moon, "When all of our suggestions have been incorporated, the book will be complete and in my opinion will make a significant impact.... In addition to silencing our critics now, the book should be invaluable in persuading others of our legitimacy for many years to come."

Yep. He's an insane cult leader with dreams of world domination and he approved that message.

Angry? Good. You can do something to stop Sinclair from using the public's airwaves to spread distortions. The Hunt Valley-based company owns two stations in nearby Baltimore, WBFF and WNUV. Many of the advertisers on these stations have operations in the D.C. area as well. Go to this page, select Baltimore, and call these companies (especially the local ones, since they're small) to tell them you are boycotting their product or service until they yank their ads from Sinclair stations.

I'd start with Empire Today, since you probably already know their number - 800-588-2300. Tell them that you're willing to stick with your existing nasty, grungy carpet until they end their support for the partisans at Sinclair. But really, you should call any of the companies on the list if you use their products.

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October 12, 2004

The climate of fear, right here

Yesterday, in the process of running errands, I passed the Iraqi embassy on 18th and P Streets, NW. I pass it at least twice a week, and the first thing I noticed this time around was the number of newspapers in plastic bags on the driveway.

This afternoon, I planned on dropping by with my camera to photograph the newspapers as part of a DCSOB post in which I would joke that the interim Iraqi government paid as much attention to the newspapers as the Bush Administration, which is to be expected since one appointed the other and they share speechwriters.

As a headed out with my camera, I started to worry. Of course, some agency had agents around the building, or at least watching security cameras nearby. Given the unwanted attention paid by authorities to people who take pictures in subways and near dams, I worried that I would have some unwanted guests joining me on my walk home.

As I got closer, I started to think of what I should do as a precaution. I decided that I would take a roundabout route home, knocking off errands and trying to blend into crowds, as thin as they are in Dupont Circle at 5 p.m. in October. If they knocked on my door, I thought, I wouldn't let them in without a warrant, but I would show them the pictures on my camera as proof of my goodwill and non-destructive intent.

Well, it turns out that at some point between yesterday and this afternoon, someone picked up all the newspapers and my snarky little post was rendered moot.

But still, an American citizen who votes, pays taxes and registered with the Selective Service when he turned 18 should not worry about government agents getting on his case for photographing a building in his neighborhood. Sure, it was all in my head, but I'm not usually a paranoid person.

Is this what "Homeland Security" feels like?

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Is our children learning?

If you'd like a trench-level view of the American education system, I suggest you check out the strangely-named Donna Martin Graduates, written by a friend of mine from high school. He does Teach For America in inner-city Houston and often gets some of the hardest-to-teach eight-year-olds. A sample of what he has to put up with every day:

Man, I really have no idea what I'm doing.

For the second day in a row, I had a kid utter an expletive at me. Last year the worst it got was this exchange:

Kid: "I failed my test! I'm so dumb!"
Me: "No, no you're not. Some people are just good at some things and not as good at other things."
Kid: "Like you and teaching?"

Oh, snap!

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Getting ahead in Baltimore

The Sun police blotter shows how Charm City workers "get to yes":

Northern District

Assault/arrest: An employee of Pizza Villa in the 5800 block of York Road was arguing with his employer and another worker about 5 p.m. Sunday, demanding more money and more hours, when he picked up a knife and cut them. Arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was Mohammod Kahn, 35, whose address was not available. The victims, Azfar Naeem, 36, and Masood Butt, 38, were treated for minor injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital and released.

Top business books at the Inner Harbor Barnes & Noble:


- Who Moved My Dagger?
- Rich Dad, Bleeding Dad
- How To Make Wounds and Influence People
- What Color is Your Parachute, and Does it Matter that I've Shredded It To Bits?

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October 11, 2004

Three things you'll hear in NYC but will never hear in DC

From a friend at a bar:

"If she wasn't bulimic, you'd be great together!"*

From a friend in his mid-20s in the financial sector:

"So I said to myself, no more $600 nights going out. Certainly no more $10,000 nights."

Overheard on Crosby Street in the East Village:

"As far as I'm concerned, I don't believe in threatening somebody's life. Or f*cking with their shoes."


* Also applicable in L.A., presumably.

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October 8, 2004

I've been kidnapped by the Moonies!

Well, not really, although I am away from my usual post deep within the bowels of the boring side of the Hill.

While I'm away, don't let the LaRouchies bite and check out DC Dork City.

Because an NYC-born nerd like me can get damn near the "Bon Vivant" level with a minor lattitude adjustment.

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October 7, 2004

Flooding the zone on the Moonie stadium obsession

I fear some people think I'm heading out into tinfoil hat territory with all this stuff about the Moonie Times' desire to promote Boondoggle Park in Southeast and bash its enemies, but every day, it gets worse. Today's travesty:

"The victims who step inside the ballpark will do so willingly, in the spirit of a free-market economy. No one will be ordered at gunpoint to purchase a $100 T-shirt featuring the team's logo.

Yet the ballpark bawlers somehow insist that a souvenir program fetching $40 from a willing victim would be best spent on public schools, housing and hospitals. This is a stretch that ignores the principle of the marketplace. A sports enterprise pursues the entertainment dollar. A dollar spent in a ballpark is not necessarily a dollar that materializes in the nest of a protest group."

Tom Knott, who wrote this garbage, knows full well that the opponents don't object to people spending money on baseball stuff, nor is anyone actually saying that the money fans spend on memorabilia comes straight out of the food pantries and libraries of the poor. The problem is the stadium itself -- the subsidized construction of a home for a multi-million dollar business. But Knott plays dumb and pretends to misunderstand the complaints.

And if that doesn't work, drag out the scary black people:

"One member of the New Black Panthers, new or not, dusted off some '60's-style rhetoric in opposing the mayor and the ballpark.

"We have to put fear into this bow-tie-wearing punk, Anthony Williams," the party member said. "Power to the people. Death to political, fascist pigs." Not to quibble too much on the merit of free speech, but wishing death on someone because of a ballpark is probably not the most effective way to win friends and influence people.

The anti-ballpark alliance is framed in the sensibility of Felix and Oscar."

And once again make no mention of the city councilmen and mainstream groups opposing this corporate welfare.

Some days, I don't know who's dumber: the people who read the Moonie Times or the people who write it.

Posted by rj3 at 2:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 6, 2004

Moon probably thinks he's getting the stadium construction contract

Let's compare the Moonie Times:


A band of angry protesters in front of City Hall yesterday lobbed harsh criticism and personal attacks at D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams as he readied a "hard sell" campaign to convince the public of the merits of his ballpark proposal.

[...]

The New Black Panthers, a militant black-power organization with a strong presence in poor, urban neighborhoods, aimed its criticisms sharply at Mr. Williams.

"We have to put fear into this bow tie-wearing punk, Anthony Williams," said Najee Muhammad, the party's national field marshal. "Power to the people. Death to political fascist pigs."

The effectiveness of some stadium opponents in forcing Mr. Williams and the council to act appears to have outstripped their actual political muscle.

"In our ward, [the New Black Panthers] seem to come out of the woodwork," said Marge Francese, chief of staff for D.C. Council member Sharon Ambrose, Ward 6 Democrat. "I haven't heard anything about them for a while, until they were helping [former D.C. Mayor Marion] Barry on Election Day."

... to el WaPo:

More than 100 protesters denounced a proposal to build a baseball stadium in the District with public funds yesterday, vowing that Mayor Anthony A. Williams and other supporters will face stiff opposition.

[...]

The coalition was composed of members of a diverse number of interest groups, including schools and affordable housing activists. They were joined by council members David A. Catania (I-At Large) and Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), as well as Vincent C. Gray, who last month won the Democratic primary for the Ward 7 council seat.

Interview the politicans and the experts, or look for the nutjobs shouting from the back? I'm quite certain the Moonies think they have something to gain from this.

Posted by rj3 at 1:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More jaw-droppingly stupid than usual

A USA Today infographic caught my eye:


Oh man, oh man.

Posted by rj3 at 12:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 5, 2004

Chocolate Washboard City

D.C. has the nation's fifth-best abs.

I think I know why. How embarassing would it be to have to fish your BlackBerry out from under a pile of droopy fat hanging over your pleated pants?

Posted by rj3 at 2:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Next, they'll have "Abortionists and Pickpockets Against Baseball"

It seems that someone up New York Avenue way really, really wants D.C. to build a stadium in Southeast. Reverend Moon must own a contracting company, because the Moonie Times is doing its best to marginalize the opposition. Just check out this lede:


"A diverse coalition — including local politicians, black-power militants, homosexual activists and child-welfare advocates — has emerged to oppose plans for a Major League Baseball stadium in Southeast, as the D.C. Council today begins debating legislation for the "sweetheart" ballpark deal. "

Let's leave out the antiquated terminology for gay people since that's standard style at the MT and his hatred of, well, any sex, is well known. You've got a rogue's gallery opposing the stadium -- local (crack-smoking) politicians, scary black people, those strange homosexuals and the big government people who want to take your kids away just for beating them. How could a self-respecting reader of the Moonie Times line up with those people to keep D.C.'s much-deserved baseball team at the fully-functional and already-built joint across town?

You don't get the full picture until you read on for a few paragraphs:

"Other groups in the coalition are the Campaign for the D.C. School Budget, the Council of Latino Agencies, D.C. Black Church Initiative, D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, D.C. Library Renaissance Project, the D.C. League of Women Voters, Parents United for the D.C. Public Schools, Save D.C. Parks and Play Spaces, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Wider Opportunities for Women. "

Although some readers still have a beef with womens' sufferage and publc libraries, these groups are certainly less threatening than "black-power militants" (although I've seen some fear-inducing shusshing at the library). So why is are community groups and economists buried while Marion Barry and Huey Newton get top billing? Because you're reading the Times, idiot.

Posted by rj3 at 2:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 4, 2004

Reliable Sources (of mousse)

WaPo hack Howard Kurtz works two jobs.

via (not that) Roger Ailes.

Posted by rj3 at 9:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scraping the bottom of the "famous for DC" barrel

Coming back from the Crafty Bastards fair in Columbia Heights Saturday, I saw none other than Andrew Sullivan, that terrorists-and-liberals-equating neocon who has been off the Bushie reservation of late, on a bicycle on Chaimplain St., NW in Adams Morgan.

A celebrity siting on the level of George Stephanopolous or Hadassah Leiberman? Not quite, but I don't get out as much as I used to.

Posted by rj3 at 8:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 1, 2004

Whither Thursday happy hour?

On my way home from C.S.'s birthday shindig last night, I walked the length of the 18th Street strip in Adams Morgan at around 8 p.m. Under normal circumstances, the area should be packed with people moving from their happy hour spots to venues for regular nighttime drinking, but instead the streets and bars were sparsely populated.

Yes, everyone was at home watching the debates. Except at Millie & Al's, where they advertised a debate-watching night. I think this counts as an "only in DC" moment.

But it gets better. Farther down, closer to Dupont Circle, some intrepid residents whose expensive lawn furniture and fancy grill had always impressed me and left me puzzled as to how nobody ever ran off with it set up a giant television on their well-appointed postage-stamp lawn. Screen on the Green it's not, but you have to admire anyone who would haul several hundred pounds of expensive electronics into their yard to watch two old white men argue about foreign policy.

Posted by rj3 at 9:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack