Firetrucks for the win

Photo Credit: Washington City Paper.

Recently the DC government got into some hot, chlorinated water over a scandal involving donated firetrucks in exchange for vacations in the Dominican Republic (read: giving expensive, vital equipment necessary to the basic preparedness functions of our city equals hot, impoverished girl-on-girl action, white sand beaches, and margaritas made with pure cocaine).

Mayor of Sousa, D.R. heads to America to find fire trucks

This is how it went down: in November 2007 the mayor of Sousa, D.R. (a kindly man named Vladimir [really, that's his name, I promise]) shows up in DC, his sombrero in his mud-caked hands, and said “¿Qué?” to some Fenty administration folks. This rendezvous was facilitated by Mr. William Walker, the head of a nonprofit called Faith Production, that takes "troubled DC youth" (read: they know how to make a shiv and they are not afraid to show you how to bleed) to Sosua to participate in a series of boxing matches called “Whalin’ on Wetbacks”.

Dirt-caked Sousa mayor Vlad says “¿Qué? Necesitamos los firetrucks, por favor”. David Jannarone and Sinclair Skinner (a frat brother of Mayor Fenty and his field director during the 2006 mayoral campaign) say hey, sure, but can we crash at your place for a bit? My girl’s been on the rag and I owe this guy money and I think I need to lay low for awhile.”

So they go to la Republica Dominicana, do some X, dance in clubs, yadda yadda. They donate an old ambulance and old firetruck in exchange for the phone numbers of some hot latinas in big hoop earrings and legs that go on for days. These things are so old they can’t be used: they’re just really pretty scrap metal which by the way could be used for a lot of slum roofs in D.R. Mr. Walker, the owner of the beat-up-people-for-Christ program, says “hey you shmucks, these things don’t’ work!” and backed out of the deal, returning the crap vehicles that your brother-in-law Jim could totally have used to soup up his sweet ride.

Impress the hotties with your 'fire hose.'

Jannarone and Skinner said well, shit. We like hanging out in D.R. and we just started seeing someone down there, it’s gettin’ kinda serious, you know how it goes. So they find a usable ambulance and firetruck – in good condition, only 55,290 miles on it in fact (my dad’s Dodge Charger has more miles on it than that). These puppies were inspected and repaired at DC taxpayer expense which frankly is the worst transgression of the whole thing: anyone who’s waited to get their car inspected or repaired at the what, two places in DC that will do it knows the pain. To think that this shit got done on my dime but not to be used for the many, many DC emergencies truly pisses me off.

Anyways, they needed a patsy. In walks Ron Moten, Chief Operating Officer of Peaceoholics, the group who recently had a mentor fired for child molestation. He says sure, I'll take responsibility for this, what's the worst that can happen? It's not like this shit is illegal or anything. These boys then bring in some lawyer types to draft emergency rule making mumbo jumbo and this becomes “legit”.

Mike Neibauer, that rapscallion muckraker, gets wind of this and his piece in the DC Examiner saying "hey you fucktards, we could have used that firetruck and Dalmatian that (probably) went with it!" Moten takes the fall like a typical patsy, saying “Oh, hey, this is totally our fault. We're the ones that wanted to give DC property away for bananas and blow, not the DC government. Peaceoholics loves Dominican Republic so much despite the fact that I personally have never been there so I don’t know. I hear the ladies are smokin’ hot but I don’t even have a passport.” Shit rains down from the heavens and it makes Fenty look like the jackass that he is.

But this has a happy ending! The April 3rd Attorney General’s report doesn’t even mention Jannarone, Skinner, the attorneys involved in covering this up, or any other DC officials for that matter. Because you know, they’ve got a lot of shit going on right now. Their best frat bud Adrian won’t return their calls and they broke things off with their Hispanola honeys because those squirrels were just getting too clingy, you know what I mean?

Mass Hysteria

Image: An unemployed man in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area hunts for work today.

Courthouse Starbucks, Arlington, Va.--Though researchers call the H1N1 influenza virus “relatively mild,” the infectious disease outbreak reached Washington, D.C., this week when one employee at the World Bank was diagnosed and treated after returning from Mexico City.

Today, the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, upgraded the infectious disease threat level from 4 (panic) to 5 (one step short of pandemic). Subsequently, Vice President Joe Biden told media he would advise family members against taking public transportation such as U.S. subway systems—and to stay away from confined spaces (such as nightclubs, concerts, raves and underground sex parties).

But, as one local biotech company rushes to produce a new synthetic vaccinia, there is an upside—many area residents remain unemployed.


This blogger is unprepared for the switch to digital television.


Hysteria: Swine Flu Hits Washington, D.C.!

As I vector toward lunch by Metro train yesterday, I spy a most beautiful young woman, if a bit fashion forward.

With her eyes, she glares at me as we pass in Metro Center, her mouth and snout hidden behind a cotton surgical mask, making me wonder, “Do I look like I got swine flu, bitch?”

Yesterday, the Pentagon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, continued to surveil the outbreak of the new A/H1N1 “swine flu” virus, as the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, raised its infectious disease threat level to “Phase 4,” two steps below pandemic.

With 149 deaths in Mexico and 40 non-fatal cases in the United States, the public naturally fears the occurrence of something scientists began predicting years ago—the emergence of a global pandemic flu strain such as that which killed one million people in 1968. Yet, President Obama and CDC officials took care yesterday to warn the public, too, against unnecessary alarm.

Following is a record of a question and answer session with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.:

1. How is swine flu transmitted?

Swine flu may be transmitted from person to person by contact with the mouth and snout.

2. Can you get swine flu by eating pork?

No, the Russian Federation needs to check their science. The A/H1N1 virus originated in swine before crossing species but is not a food-borne bacteria.

3. Can you get swine flu by riding the Metro?

No cases have been reported in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

4. Can you get swine flu by blogging about the Metro?


5. Can one contract swine flu by sleeping with a pig?

Sleeping with an unattractive woman who carries swine flu may certainly put you at heightened risk, particularly if you have contact with her mouth and snout.

6. Can you get swine flu by raping someone?

Yes. Um, why do you ask?


Mea Culpa

Though I'm not one for superlatives, I recognize now that my recent "Prisons" post was the worst to ever appear on this site. For that, I apologize.


OK, so yes it's been a while since I've posted. I'd urge you all to remember that the "Commission for Instajournalism on the Great Disdain for the District of Columbia" (a 501(c)3) has not yet been established--so for now, none of us are drawing salaries.

That aside, I have to recognize that there's been some fucked up shit going on here. I'm not talking about the occasional "blog wars" that erupt, or even ALL CAPS 'transplant scum' dude. I've never been in the business of comment moderation, because I think that sucks. I let people post all sorts of shit, including my personal information and photos. I've only deleted about two comments, and they were both spam.

But after looking at these threads of 100+ comments that say absolutely nothing, and I would imagine are all posted by the same person, I'm about ready to say enough is enough. I have no personal beef with M@ or even his commenters, but some of this stuff has gotten to be so unrelated to the point of the site, I know it's turning people off. Yes, you can just skip over it, but you can't have any sort of discussion in the comments if it's filled with hundreds of crazy nonsense shit.

I don't want to delete comments, but I'm going to put out the following notice. If you post anonymous shit that's completely unrelated to anything being discussed in the post--AND it's not even funny or clever, it may be deleted. I don't want to, and honestly I'd rather whoever is doing this just cut that shit out, but it's gotten stupidly annoying and I think we're all over it at this point.

BESIDES all you assholes, there's enough shit going on that we should have plenty of original material that doesn't involve the sexuality of some made up persona from England. I mean, really, what the hell is all that?

FOR EXAMPLE, let's discuss the Measles outbreak, which looks to be at least partly related to an employee at a Harris Teeter in McLean. Hope none of you went to UltraBar, or else you might get the Measles in addition to the clap.

I love WJLA, they have quotes like:
"Yeah it scared me!" added D.C. resident Kianna Wilson. "I'm about to go to Safeway and get hot dogs and hamburgers and I'm kind of scared I'm going to catch the measles!"

Woodbridge resident Pam Fitzgerald doesn't like what she read on the door of her grocery store. "It's a little bit nerve-wracking. I've got two young kids, an eight-year-old and a two-year-old, so clearly it's something I have to be concerned about with them," she said.

Hey, memo to you, your kids have been immunized!

Or maybe we can just hate on the Washington Post, and the 14th Street Corridor. In case you still didn't know, the WaPo loves 14th Street. Recession? What recession. The "Hip and Hungry" are hitting the streets!

At the same time as this, the WaPo is also telling us how people are tightening their belts. That is, instead of spending $250 a day on needless shit, they are only spending $100 on needless shit.
Denise Kimberlin and her husband, Craig, of Woodbridge are government contractors who make nice livings. They recently got raises. They don't fear losing their jobs.

Yet, something is driving them to change their spending habits. They have cut back by at least $250 a week on clothes, dinners out and other discretionary spending.
Good for you Denise and Craig. But look out, you might get Measles.

So yeah, how about we take some time to cut the abstract shit, k? I love the hate on $200/hr Yoga, I love the hate on all the various types of assholes who live here and make this place miserable. Hell, we can even discuss the god awful weather. I'm all about weirdness and strange humor. Hell, I posted a picture of Darth Vader with a Brita water pitcher with the WASA logo on it. But enough with this horseshit in the comments.


Why I Hate Why I Hate DC

I, and I suspect many of you, have recently come to the conclusion that this blog sucks.

Now, I have several hypotheses about why this is, not one of which involves me because, sad as this truth may be, blogging is one of the few things I'm actually good at. (The others are spelunking and imagining iterations of the McLaughlin Group that involve Elvira, Mr. Peanut, the Mucinex blob, and the cast of Different Strokes, the opening credits of which can be really f*cking creepy…)

Moreover, this blog also doesn't suck because of the rest of the "staff," a word I use loosely as none of us get paid for this nor have we ever even met.

Although, wait. That statement's not quite accurate. This blog sucks a little more each day the longer Dave goes without writing because his sh*t is pretty tight. (Dave, where in District hell are you?!)

Which brings me to m@ -- a person whose e-persona inadvertently seems to have taken this blog from being an objective and collective bitch-fest about how much we all love to hate (or simply hate) this backwards cess pool of a city to a forum about how much one or two (or more, perhaps, but who really cares) anonymous commenters seem to hate their lives.

Now, I'm not one to shy away from hating life. After all, just yesterday I discovered that I apparently hold a part-time job that pays me $2.37 per hour. Clearly, my life blows. However, despite my quick descent to rock bottom, one thing you'll never find me doing is dicking up a blog's comment section in a profoundly retarded manner.

A few days ago the infamous m@ wrote a post about something. In all honesty, I didn't really understand it. Then again, I think it's fair to blame my personal lack of understanding more on my helper horse, Sven, who was slurring his speech almost incomprehensibly while reading it aloud to me -- I'm illiterate -- after he stumbled home from a wild night in Adams Morgan. (Sven's such a douche.) Or maybe I'm just stupid. Either/or. Although how stupid can I be when I managed to procure a talking horse?

But magical creatures aside, none of this really matters. Specifically, my opinion on m@'s musings doesn't matter because why I've come to hate Why I Hate DC has nothing to do with m@ or his writing (some of which I like and, perhaps, could understand if I kept a sober helper mammal, and some of which deserves to be criticized, as do most thoughts of intentionally controversial writers/bloggers). Nope. The reason I've come to hate Why I Hate DC has to do with those few commenters who have nothing constructive to say, and instead resort to throwing around homophobic epithets such as "gay" or "faggy" after everything m@ posts. (And really, is that even an insult? I love the gays who are particularly faggy!)

But even those comments wouldn't be so bad (although still ignorant) if they were limited to that. At least those particular comments were directed at m@, who wrote the post. What really got my goat, or rather my helper horse, was when these few rogue commenters, who seemingly can't obsess enough over others' sexuality, decided to drop the formality of even including m@ in their over 100 (yes, ONE HUNDRED) ravings and instead fell into calling each other "gay" and "faggy."

It just doesn't make sense. If you want people to weirdly obsess over your sexuality, start your own damn blog and write about it, otherwise keep your comments focused on the post, a tangential issue, or at least its author, love or hate his apparent "faggy gayness."

Now, here's the paragraph where I'd love to name names, but it seems most of the perpetrators are anonymous, save for one Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, who, despite his perpetuation of the ridiculousness, at least had the courtesy to attach a name to his dickish online persona.

But seriously, cut it the f*ck out all you creepy single-white-femaling idiots. GET A HOBBY.

In closing, as this may end my short tenure here at WIHDC since I hate this site so much now and will probably be "fired" or simply quit, I'd like to leave you few (or many) non-sensical m@ haters-turned-comment hogs with the following fixed-gear wheel of wisdom:

Picture credit to Sucka Pants via BikeSnobNYC.

For the rest of you (the majority, I suspect), I invite you to find me regularly over at The Anti DC. (Shameless plug!) And if you hate me, too (which I’m sure at least two of you definitely do now), then forget about me (or, I suppose, just use this opportunity to call me "gay" and "faggy") and just watch this:

And yes, in case you were wondering, that clip was meant to serve as a fitting metaphor for WIHDC and is not a refection of Sven, who's decidedly not brain-damanged, but simply drunk.



A Vision

In the dream, I’m recruited for a job by the Russian embassy, finding myself at a garden party one afternoon in a room alone with a handsome, steel-eyed (white) Russian named Vladimir, who tells me I am to spy for his country.

“But I love America and would never betray the kingdom,” I say.

“You will or we’ll kill you.”

Outside the room, plates and glasses crash to the floor and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA) appears with his four Portuguese water dogs to spirit me away to safety.

“Nice dogs.”

“Thanks. I gave one to the president!”

Later, we stand shoulder to shoulder on the bank of the Potomac River, watching the slow-moving water.

“I can’t say I appreciate your stance on illegal aliens,” I say.

“That’s OK, son, I can’t say I appreciate your blogging,” he says, wheezing a bit. “Look, I’ve been in Washington a long time and I know what people want to hear: They want to commiserate about local underground railway service. The trains are late and overcrowded and the entire system is run by douches.

“And would it kill you to throw in some current events? A concert schedule? Train service updates?”

And then, like an old soldier, Sen. Kennedy begins to fade away.

“Senator, wait!?”

“Yes, my son?”

“Those Boston Red Sox… they’re really something, aren’t they?”


This post was ghostwritten by Liz.



Life passes quickly, murderously.

The walk from Georgetown to Virginia over the Key Bridge passes quickly too one night, cold air pushing exhaust from passing cars safely into the atmosphere, away from me on the surface. Borf-like graffiti in blue-stenciled print draws my eye to the sidewalk, admonishing me to “Stop Building Prisons.”

On the other side, I sit with my drink at a coffee shop, watching the evening crowd queuing to dress their coffee with half-and-half, 2% and nonfat milk, sugar and spice at the counter that has no name but should—the Patagonia, as I think of it. Some people are nice at the Patagonia, whereas others wish only to drink their coffee sometime before they die, sometime soon.

In the newspaper, Mayor Adrian Fenty agrees that life is too short. Squeezed by the recession, the city hopes to save $4.4 million during the next fiscal year by allowing as many as 80 percent of its prison population to qualify for early release, which would reduce the daily average of 3,000 inmates by two percent. To qualify, prisoners must pass a battery of physical fitness tests, demonstrating also proficiency with either small arms or at least one video game—no written tests required.


Nothing in life forces a self-accounting quite like contact with the police or with a law firm performing due diligence, adding and subtracting, pulling off-balance matters back onto the ledger. The man hears a summary unlike that which I tell colleagues, young women and that proverbial business opportunity in the elevator.

No judgments have been issued against me, unless you count that restraining order—and I don’t. My record includes three arrests, two in 1997 and one in 2006, all resulting in misdemeanor convictions. “But I served no jail time!” would be my epitaph, someday.


Which is not entirely true, either: I once lived in the District of Columbia.


Why I Love DC

The actual city of Washington, DC, may suck for more reasons than I have time to list in this forum, but in one way it's pretty cool. In fact, in this one particular way I'm about to outline, I'd even go so far to say that it's totally boss.

Collecting unemployment insurance, or as I simply refer to it, "welfare," is exceptionally easy in DC. You just click on a few Web sites, have your helper tortoise, Vladimir, or your helper horse, Sven, type some personal identification information in and, before you know it, you're eating beans straight out of the can, making friends with TV magistrates, and collecting a fat $384 per week.

Like I said, it's totally boss.

But being a bum outside of the District, say, in Virginia? It seems that's not so boss.

According to an article in today's Washington Post, a party-line split in the Commonwealth of Virginia has prevented $125 million in federal welfare funds from landing in the pockets of not only assholes like myself, but in the pockets of people who actually deserve it. While Virginia may be for lovers, it's certainly not for intrepid hobos:

"At issue is whether Virginia should change its law to allow some part-time workers or those in some training programs to receive unemployment benefits."

Predictably, Republicans said "no," while Democrats said "yes." (Clearly, at issue here is not a question about having illicit extramarital affairs...THEY BOTH WOULD'VE SAID "YES" IN THAT CASE! LOL!)

Anyway, according to the article, some Democrats are calling some Republicans "disgusting." Fair enough. And some Republicans are calling some Democrats... Well, they're not really calling them anything as much as they're just kind of ignoring them in favor of sticking up for the rights of "struggling businesses." Fair enough. (Most politicians should be ignored.)

Whatever the case, it seems that had I really hated myself and had chosen to live in Virginia opposed to the District, I would not be the successful welfare queen I am today, especially since I recently started working part-time.

On the bright side, Vladimir, Sven and I would have a lot easier time legally storing our weapons caches in Dale City or Woodbridge...

As for the morale of this tale? Sometimes you just gotta pay the troll toll.

Wait. No. That's not it. The real morale is that you should just forget about trying to work or educate yourself to eventually get off welfare in Virginia, and instead, pretend to be retarded. And if that doesn't work, become a crack addict instead.

Yep. That's totally it.


Why Living In a Yurt May Not Be So Bad

If you ever find yourself being content with this hell hole of a city we call our home, try to find housing here. It will stir such an base hatred within your darkened soul that you'll find yourself seriously considering an offer to move into a Kyrgyz yurt, rather than continue the housing search here. Because between all the jerks who simply don't respond to my emails, which, for the record, do not mention once my general hatred of humanity, and all the people who find it somehow economically viable to try to let an 8' x 8' room in Petworth for $900, I'm finding ads like the following:

$620 fancy mansion 2 blocks from metro... whoa! (red line metro - rhode island ave) (map)

Reply to: [redacted]
Date: 2009-04-06, 6:27PM EDT

hello everyone!

we like to dance and smoke cigarettes and stand on the porch and yell at our neighbors at shawshank...

you're probably wondering, am i the right person for a chance at this dream life?
probably. but maybe not. here are just a couple of the demographics we are open to (not exclusive list):
- male: sexy, 240 lbs, possibly with a beard and moustache
- female: you have a loud vagina
- anyone: that has a murcielago
- fucking anyone thats not a crackhead

also, this shit is tight, i'm so serial. like crazy tight, you know what i'm saying? like, we're talking 2-car parking spot, a private maid, and a gameboy with kirby pucket baseball that we take turns with every month.

ok, i actually was serious about having 2 private parking spots, and i'm told i better give you some real fuckin info before you jump right off of this interweb page:
- 3 floors, full bathroom per floor
- 2 full kitchens
- bigass hdtv/surround sound
- literally 2 blocks from the rhode island metro, which is also near an assortment of fine shopping:
- AJ wright
- giant
- home depot
- chuck e cheese
- jamaican spots
- cvs

also, we occasionally/frequently/all-the-time have "ghetto bonfires", ie, burning empty beer boxes in the grill in our delightful backyard.

so... you're saying theres a chance?

10th st ne at rhode island ave

Yup. Suddenly, living in an yurt or even in a VAN down by the RIVER (R.I.P. Chris Farley) isn't looking so bad...

And if the [SIC]-filled text of that ad wasn't enough to make you regurgitate your steady diet of government cheese, just take a look at the accompanying photographs:

I'm not sure what to make of the first picture. If I move in am I allowed to put my butt on a dude's head? Or is that girl's butt going to be placed on my head? Either way, I'm not ready to pay $620 for that.

But I guess at least we're not left confused about the cigarette situation, as that second woman (or is she a "loud vagina"?) is clearly smoking one. Although she certainly doesn't look like she's dancing. Nor is she even on a porch. But, indeed, she is smoking a cigarette. (I hope it's menthol!) And what's more of a selling point for moving in than the guaranteed stench of stale smoke on a 20-year-old hiptard's hoodie smelling up the entire "fancy mansion?" Or, if I fit the bill of being the much desired 240-pound man, having the stale stench of smoke linger in my beard and/or mustache? Or my loud vagina (although I bet hers is louder than mine)? Or my Murcielago? I mean, a pine-scented air freshener can only go so far. And I have the feeling that, if I hated myself enough to actually answer this ad I'd have to carry my Murcielago's pine-scented air freshener to my bedroom just to survive. That, or wear one of those C3PO gas masks being donned by two of the residents (or maybe those are the "shawshank" neighbors who recently got yelled at by this fancy mansion's denizens).

Yet, amid the entire clusterf*ck of annoyingness that is this ad, one point stands out as exceptionally annoying -- the idea of a "ghetto bonfire." Now, I'm not against bonfires of any variety, be it a beach bonfire, a camping bonfire, or even a well-controlled forest bonfire, but this "ghetto bonfire" business sounds highly ridiculous. "Burning empty beer boxes in the grill in our delightful backyard?" First of all, I don't understand how this even qualifies as a bonfire, "ghetto" or not. It's just a few cardboard boxes. Whenever I start bonfires, you can bet I burn an entire tree. And if I'm in a neighborhood where there are no trees, then you can bet I'll be burning at least a few pieces of wood furniture. Or the interior of the entire house. Now THAT's ghetto.

Secondly, why the hell would you abuse a perfectly innocent grill like that? While I may not care for human rights all that much (especially when it comes to humans who abuse innocent grills), barbeque rights is something I can't let slide. In what world is it OK to fill your grill up with beer-box ash? Grills are for charcoal and occasionally propane. Burning cardboard in it is not only offensive to the grill, but it's offensive to the hamburgers, hotdogs, bratwurst, steaks, chicken, shishkabobs, fish, ribs, chocolate chip cookies (it's possible!) and assorted other goodness that may one day lay deliciously across its heated slates.

Lastly, are you retarded? (I suppose after reading this ad and looking at the accompanying photographs, that question is rhetorical.)

Really, the only redeeming quality about this ad is the fact that you may have occasional possession of a vintage Gameboy with a Kirby Puckett game. That shit really is tight. I'm super mega hyper crazy serial. So, really though...who wants to be my roommate?


In Meta Spiral, Wonkette Hates Self

Last month I discussed NBC Washington's lame attempts at humor by sprinkling in near-parody news stories in with their "real" news online. Mostly this attack was aimed at Wonkette's Jim Newell, who has been posting snark-filled attempts at humor on NBCWashington.com.

DCist later picked up on the story too, starting an flame war with Wonkette.

Now, Wonkette runs a story attacking TIME Magazine for running a joke piece.

Some of the choice selections:
YOU DO NOT “PARODY” THE NEWS IN THE PROCESS OF REPORTING THE NEWS. You people are supposed to be covering things, writing articles about those things, doing research, conducting interviews, filing your articles, and then going home to cry, the end.

You people probably love that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and especially those wacky typos Jay Leno sometimes holds up, on the teevee.


That is not your job. If you want to try your hand at writing jokes for Comedy Central or working for The Onion, then by all means quit, today, and start sending in your resumes, which will thankfully be ignored, because you people aren’t comedy writers. You’re self-important mandarins in an industry that’s actually dying, right now, in large part because you people have the intellectual wherewithal of a raccoon distracted by a ball of aluminum foil. You see blogs and you don’t say, “Hmmm that is an interesting development in new media.” Instead, you lose your fucking institutional mind and turn newspapers into blogs. Because that’s what we were short of, in this country, right?

Yes, exactly. I couldn't agree more. So while you're at it, how about you send that memo to Jim Newell and NBC Washington?

In fact, I couldn't say this better myself!
You, as journalists, are not allowed to constantly bemoan the fate of serious news-gathering operations in this country while trying to turn your news operations into TMZ. Stop it.

Stop twittering, blogging, photoshopping, and dear god please stop trying to make jokes. Report the news or take your buyout and go fuck off with Mark Penn or whatever.

So how about it Ken Layne? You going to fire off an angry email or tweet to your fellow Wonkette writer for wasting everyone's time by filling NBCWashington.com with second-rate attempts at humor? Shouldn't NBC be spending their time and money actually reporting on the news?


Lovin' the Weather on Friday

Quick hits for Friday

FOLLOWING UP on M@'s Tranquil Spaces piece... RAHM EMANUEL has possibly been spotted frequenting the yoga studio on 17th St.

Is Rahm studying to be a Hip Tranquil Chick(TM)? Also, has he moved out of the illegal bachelor pad on Capitol Hill? Does he live closer to the White House, perhaps in Dupont Circle now?

THE REAL WORLD coming to DC? For realsies this time? Sorry kids, that shit won't fly here. I'll believe it when I see it. For now I'll be content with the fact that we got a black family to move into the White House before we got Real World DC. Does anyone even watch Real World anymore? Where do you think they would live? Adams Morgan is the obvious choice, which has been rumored for years. I'm voting in favor of REAL WORLD: CLARENDON. THIS WEEK, TIFFANY-AMBER RIDES THE ORANGE LINE TO BALLS-ton.

FIRETRUCKS FOR VACATIONS? Now this, it just writes itself, really. If you haven't heard, in January the Deputy Fire Chief for Apparatus traveled to the Dominican Republic to donate a firetruck and ambulance. He stayed at a resort for six days (at $135/day). The equipment has been valued at $340,000, though it was considered obsolete. After the hubbub erupted, it seems the fire trucks were turned back in Miami and were returned. I don't even know where to start with this.

STREETCAR NAMED 'HOLY SHIT' Maybe La Republica Dominicana could use some trollies, too. City Desk notes that the District is paying $860,000 a year to store unused streetcars in the Czech Republic. Yes, this is correct, the District purchased three streetcars to be used on a trolly line in Anacostia. However, the construction of the line has been delayed until at least January 2010. So... the streetcars have been sitting in storage in the Czech Republic (where they were made, yes, buy Czech!). Apparently this costs $2,356 per day.

AMERICAN CHEMISTRY COUNCIL, 'RACE BAITERS?' The DC Council has been kicking around the idea of a $0.05 plastic bag tax, and the American Chemistry Council is pissed. Naturally, the best way to lobby against a plastic bag tax is to point out that it unfairly targets low income people, especially minorities. From Marc Fisher:
A group called the Progressive Bag Affiliates, funded by the American Chemistry Council and leading bag makers, has hired Darrell Carrington, a lobbyist from Annapolis who is African American. Carrington tells me that he's making the rounds of council members' offices, arguing that any fee on bags "is going to disproportionately hit low-income people, who are predominantly minorities. That's what it is. Truth is truth."

Progressive Bag Affiliates. Good god. It's a fact that any flat rate tax does disproportionately burden those with lower incomes. Like sales tax. And excise tax on tobacco and booze. I'm glad to see the American Chemistry Council and plastic bag manufactures are looking out for the less fortunate. Big-old tip of the hat to them. Anyways, the real question here is how do you enforce a plastic bag tax on the self-checkout?