News Bullets, Metro Thursday;

Today is a big day for Metro. The Board is meeting as we speak to discuss among other things, the budget gap. Last night was the public hearing, where it appeared as though a fare hike was the more popular choice among riders. The other option would have been service cuts, some of which would make the system much less useful and could lead to lower ridership (this is known as a "death spiral"). Jim Graham is also out as board chair, with Maryland representative Peter Benjamin taking his place. Today it is likely we will also hear the choice for interim General Manager, the person who will replace John Catoe when he departs in April. So yes, a big day. The Metro Board has characterized the search for a permanent general manager as a search for "Clark Kent." The preferred outcome of today's meeting would be a vote to support a fare increase, and possibly capitalizing some of the system maintenance. To be clear, John Catoe has made assurances that a capitalization of maintenance would not be at the expense of safety or even any significant capital projects. Let's also hope for an impressive interim General Manager. If I had to wager, I would put it on an internal choice from within WMATA. That's likely the best possible scenario until a "rockstar" GM can be located.

In other death spiral news, Washington Post forms circular firing squad. Erik Wemple at the City Paper dissects a blog controversy unfolding at the Post. Not so much a blog controversy actually, but a real journalistic controversy. As we all know, the Post's editorial board has often been very easy on D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Also recall how buddy-buddy Rhee was with the ed board during the whole Ximena Hartsock controversy. In any event, yesterday afternoon WaPo reporter Bill Turque wrote a rather heated blog post on washingtonpost.com about the 'firewall' between the editorial/opinion page and the beat reporters. Turque claims that Rhee and company only comment to the editorial board, allowing major stories to break via a sympathetic editorial or opinion piece. Today, Turque's piece disappeared from the WaPo site, and was later replaced with a much different version. Check out CityDesk for more, and for the original text.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R) trying in vain to stop DC same-sex marriage. As we all likely expected, this bozo has decided to grandstand on gay marriage. Let's take a second here to mention that Chaffetz is (no surprise) a mormon, and let us all recall about how much the Church of Latter Day Saints meddled in California with Prop. 8. Remember folks, any time you purchase a Twilight book or go see one of the movies, 10% of that sale is going to fund efforts to stop gay marriage. Food for thought. Anyhow, the BYU superstar placekicker (and former Democrat, until he met Ronald Reagan) has introduced legislation to block gay marriage in the District. Thankfully, having a majority in the House is occasionally useful, and this measure will go absolutely nowhere.

Gun-toting basketball idiots suspended. Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton have been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season. Both have plead guilty to gun charges, Crittenton to misdemeanor and Arenas to felony charges. The future of Arenas is much in doubt, he has not yet been sentenced for his charge. He could still face jail time, though most analysts find that unlikely. The Wizards released a statement on the matter:
The NBA announced today that they have suspended Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the remainder of the season. We understand and fully support their decision.

Both players violated D.C. laws and NBA rules by bringing guns into the locker room. Their poor judgment has also violated the trust of our fans and stands in contrast to everything Abe Pollin stood for throughout his life. It is widely known that Mr. Pollin took the extraordinary step of changing the team name from “Bullets” to “Wizards” in 1997 precisely to express his abhorrence of gun violence in our community. We hope that this negative situation can produce something positive by serving as a reminder that gun violence is a serious issue.

We look forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind us and once again focusing our full attention on playing exciting basketball in front of our great fans at Verizon Center.”

The only way this can end with a positive message would be with both players being banned from the NBA.


  1. About the DC same sex marraige protections and this Utah Congressman. I don't think you're correct that this won't go anywhere. Althought democrats have a majority in the House and Senate many of those democrats are socially conservative, thats why they were able to be elected in states such as North Carolina. These Dems will not support same sex marriage.

    If Fox News picks this up, and starts touting this as an assault on marriage, and forcing it to be a national issue like they did with the Tea Parties. It probably still won't be overturned, but it won't go quietly.

  2. Well, it would need to leave committee, which already seems unlikely, at which point it would then need to be passed by both the House and the Senate, and President Obama would need to sign it. I just don't see all of that happening.

  3. Probably not, but I see the potential for this becoming a big national issue, with Congressmen and women, and Senators becoming worried due to midterms about irritating their constituents.

    Hey when are you going to post the winners of your contest?

  4. First winner will be announced around 1:30 PM today.

  5. Lifetime bans would be really excessive for Arenas and Crittendon and would be justifiably overturned in arbitration with the player's association. What they each did was stupid and illegal and it's good to make an example of them, but if a private citizen did the same, he might be fired, but he'd be able to work for another company in his industry.

  6. If I had a felony gun conviction for bringing a weapon to work and threatening a co-worker, I would have a hard time getting a job in a professional environment.

  7. Push a Gentrifier in front of a moving metrobusJanuary 28, 2010

    "It is widely known that Mr. Pollin took the extraordinary step of changing the team name from “Bullets” to “Wizards” in 1997 precisely to express his abhorrence of gun violence in our community."

    Our community?
    This is not your community.
    You are a Transplant. Outsider. Gentrifier.

    In other words... You and I share nothing.

  8. FYI: that was the statement put out by the Wizards.

  9. I'm Mormon, and now I am done reading your blog. I don't care what your opinion is, but write with some integrity...you can share your thoughts without being a jackass and alienating a reader.

  10. So... you don't tithe 10% to the Church which then uses that money to suppress gay rights?

    or you do, and you still defend it, and you don't like when people call your church out on it?

  11. Boy, lotta racism from blacks in this town.