I have been avoiding this topic on purpose. First, it’s that ugly political season and this is not a political issue. Partisan politics is good at driving people apart and beer is good at bringing them together. Whatever ills arise between people can often be soothed by a draught of beer and a cup of merriment. In fact, beer is so intertwined into the fabric of our nation that it cannot be neatly undone and cast aside. Beer is part and parcel of the American dream, a beverage whose roots are democratic, thus serving as a microcosm through which to view our nation, preferably while staring through the bottom of an upturned glass.
I hate the wave. I’m going to come right out and say it. I may or may not have yelled at the section next to me during Strasmas 1 when they attempted to start it. I was quite lucky that my section approved of my view against the monotony of this Hokey Pokey, Stand-Up-Sit-Down version of crowd participation.
I do not stand (sit?) alone. Last Friday, while taking in the opening game between the Nationals and his hometown team, the Chicago White Sox, an opportunistic photographer caught President Obama passing as the wave passed right on by. Did he really refuse to participate? I’d like to think so.
Blizzards don’t stop Presidents. President Snowbama (I AM hilarious) today ventured out into the frozen tundra of Penn. Ave (along with 14 other vehicles) to give a talk at the meeting of the Democratic National Committee at the Capital Hilton. But his what would normally be a short and uneventful journey riding in the luxury of the super-hip, certifiably badass “beast” limo turned into a rather eventful trip in a snow-killing Suburban that included not one but TWO little accidents. Snow induced fender bender in the Presidential motorcade before even making it out of the driveway? Check. Tree limb falling on top of a media SUV in the motorcade causing them to stop outside of Treasury? Check.
Yeah … he won a Nobel Peace Prize. Sure … he’s inspired millions. But there’s just something so sweet and so innocent about a little girl introducing herself to the most powerful man in the country only to say, “I’ve never seen you before!”
At least Obama chuckled along with her and said, “I’ve never seen YOU before!”
Way to go Anna! You should get huge karma points for being so kind to a complete stranger!
The Washington Post wrote Sunday about the Obama administration’s intent to push Congress to implement a large change in how subway safety is regulated and enforced across the country by DOT. Currently, the feds really have no power to set regulations what so ever on subway systems due to a 1965 law passed by Congress that was intended to prevent the government from inhibiting transit growth. Subway safety is typically overseen by a state level agency or, in Metro’s case, an independent Tri-State committee (which the Post notes has exactly zero employees). DOT doesn’t even have the power to make Metro comply with NTSB recommendations today.
It comes as no surprise that this move was triggered by the awful Metro crash in June and the many, many safety incidents that have plagued Metro this year. Our subway system is the second largest in the country, but it is definitely the one that has the most direct effect on Capitol Hill – it moves the majority of Hill staffers to and from work everyday.
DC’s sole member of Congress, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, issued a press release today remarking on the President’s surprise Nobel Peace Prize award this morning, saying “Obama Redeems Diplomatic Leadership and Re-Establishes America on World Stage” as a result of the award.
The world is abuzz right now over this award and whether it was appropriate and/or deserved and many mocking the award have commented that Obama received it merely for not being named George W. Bush. Rep. Norton makes her case for this being appropriate by pointing out how Obama’s views and approach differ from the previous administration – which is almost the same thing as saying “he’s not Bush”, albeit in a more diplomatic fashion.
Your neighbor is turning the big 4-8 next week. But what do you give him as a gift? Fresh-baked cookies? Some squash from the garden? Unfortunately, he already has a team of chefs as well as his own vegetable garden. And then there’s the 747, a huge personal staff, mansion, cute dog and pretty much everything else. President Barack Obama turns another year older on Tuesday, August 4th. But what will close neighbors (as in the people who work in his house) and DC’s biggest names be getting for him? Politico published an article on this today and I just had to pick a few favorites out of the list.
One of the owners of the DC landmark establishment Ben’s Chili Bowl wants to send Obama an entire case of chili half-smokes! Yum. Newt Gingrich wants to give him a week in Hawaii with the fam (is Newt going soft?). Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT) will throw in a pair of Wranglers and a ShamWow to clean up the economy. In fact, he says he will throw in two because, if he remembers correctly, they come in pairs. And Rep. Westmoreland (R-GA) will so graciously donate a copy of the Constitution to the President (pretty sure they already have a few copies at 1600 Penn., but I get the symbolic joke). Check out the full list here. So, what are you giving your NW neighbor on Tuesday?
The White House is livestreaming everything from the Easter Egg Roll… including the chef’s cooking lessons from Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Art Smith of Art and Soul and Jose Andres of Zaytinya, et al. You can also catch other adorable things like DC United soccer players reading to kids (swoon) and Ziggy Marley on the music stage.
If you’ve got a specific star or act you’re following, you can check out the PDF schedule to see when you can catch the stream from your desk. It’ll be like you were really there. Except not. Hello, Web 2.0 at the White House, we missed you…
Tourist season is here: you can feel it on the sidewalk, on the Mall, around the Tidal Basin, and especially on the left sides of downtown Metro escalators. Washington Post reports that DC tourism is up, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to increased revenue for local retail and hospitality businesses. DC, after all, is Freebie Tourism Central: free monuments, museums, parks, even the zoo. Proximity day-trippers account for a large part of the influx of travelers: people driving in from nearby, not staying at hotels overnight, or opting to crash in local relatives’ guest rooms. Continue reading →
At around 10am, the rumors started swirling. President Obama was probably, most likely, could be, was maybe considering, attending the Wizards/Bulls game at the Verizon Center Friday night. And indeed after all the hubbub, long screening lines and increased security presence, the Commander In Chief showed up just before tip off. Continue reading →
In case you were under a rock yesterday, we had us an Inauguration yesterday. Our 44th President was sworn in on the steps of the Capitol while an estimated two million people witnessed it and the following parade.
Our prolific area photographers were out in force yesterday; many of them you’ll recognize from prior visits to the Flashback. I encourage you to check out our Flickr feed, as all but one of the following shots came from it. And for images around the world, check out a special Flickr section that features some great shots taken by photographers outside our Beltway.
Many, many thanks to our regular pool contributors; you guys made my job extremely hard today with all the great photos. Keep it up!
D.C. begins it’s musical revelry for the Inauguration of Barack Obama on Sunday with both concerts for the masses but also in smaller venues. Tonight, or this morning if you take it that way, Moby is now on stage at the 9:30 Club with a sold out show expected to end at 4:30am this morning. This is the first such event at the club to push past the normal D.C. curfew for alcohol and noise. If you can still get a ticket, it’s one of the most intimate and loose events of the next two days of celebration.
At approximately 1:32am, Moby “broke” the club. The entire club’s power supply tripped and sent revelers into a chant of “yes we can” as attempts to restore the life back to the club continued. At least the bar servers were still able to dispense alcohol in the bottle format to keep the “mob”-y at bay.
So for all the Inaugural hype, let’s have a serious answer: are you really gonna brave this cold for politics?
I mean really, folks, its gonna be freezing at best. Then there are the crowds, the security lines, and after the long walk from wherever, just to stand on the mall and catch a chill, is it worth it? Yes, its historic, but so was November 4th. And January 21.
Besides, all you’re really gonna see of Barak Obama is a Jumbotron. The same you’d see from the warmth of your own home. Or what I’ll be seeing from mine.
The Obama Express has arrived! Union Station was a circus tonight — thousands of people clogging the Grand Hall and concourse hoping to catch a glimpse of the president-elect at the end of his whistle-stop tour, with memorabilia vendors hawking their wares at every corner. Sadly, as indicated on Union Station’s website, the arrival was not meant to be a public event. The president-elect and all his travelling companions boarded their motorcade directly from the platform area, skipping over the concourse and heading straight for Blair House.
I was about to comment on this earlier but Life Outtacontext beat me to it: doesn’t this guy in a stock photo on the DC Dental Spa billboard ad in various Metro stations look just like a white version of Barack Obama? I do a double-take everytime I see it.
I didn’t know what to say when I saw this bumper sticker. I am all for political and personal expression, especially if it means do-it-yourself bumper stickers. However, it just looks a little funny for some reason. I find it hard to take this one seriously. If this were my car I might omit the angry white male part, although I suppose the term fits.
Are you angry about anything? Share with the group.
Yeah, last night he did. This jaded Washingtonian, who tries to live in DC totally separate from politicians and the whole “The Hill” establishment, who hasn’t voted in years (my dirty secret, now exposed) actually wept after watching Obama’s infomerical.
Beyond who you are voting for, or even this election, this is the type of political ad we should be seeing from our politicians. Ones that offer hope and guidelines of what they promise to do. Not more sniping and backstabbing.
Maybe then we can have people refer to Washington DC in the positive instead of the pejorative sense. And I’d be able to fraternize with “Hill People” without that dirty feeling.
I have a landline, but I rarely use it. Usually it’s for stuff like calling the Chinese delivery place a couple blocks over, and so I have something that really works well in my Condo. It’s not that I get calls on it. Except this morning when it rang about 10:15am. It was a robo-call, I could tell immediately, but I gave it a second to rattle off its spiel before deciding it wasn’t going to waste my time or try to sell me more credit than I need.
It asked five simple questions and the whole thing took 30 seconds:
- Who would you vote for if the election was today?
- Which party do you trust with the economy right now?
- What’s your gender?
- What’s your race?
- What’s your age group?
And away it went. But it was all automated. It wasn’t a real person making minimum wage in a call center, it was a robot doing the polling. I got a little sad. Are you telling me there’s no Josh Lyman standing over a group of midwestern transplants and telling them to spit out their gum?! Sigh. The price of progress.