Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.'s Racial Polarization Is Not That Bad
September 10, 2010

It’s still a close race, but the odds are that Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty will lose to D.C. Council chairman Vincent Gray in the dispositive Democratic primary next Tuesday.

September 10, 2010

Journalists often annoyingly inflate events in their own backyards, fallaciously treating the local and provincial as mega-trends and national harbingers. Those of us who practice political journalism in Washington, D.C., have been somewhat immune from this tendency. Our city government, with the still-looming figure of a former crackhead mayor and the not-very-distant memory of a federally imposed control board, is way too sui generis for that. But for once, Washington has emerged as an urban vanguard—a home to bold and laudable reform.

Taking The Weigel Challenge
September 07, 2010

Dave Weigel wants to know which hack pundit will draw a parallel between Adrian Fenty's (predicted) loss in the Washington, D.C. mayoral primary and the political travails of President Obama: My question: Who'll be the first pundit to discuss Fenty's defeat as a sign of things to come for Barack Obama? Fenty endorsed Obama in 2008, and the two men have been outwardly friendly with one another, and among the reasons he's expected to lose are arrogance and some misplaced spending. Voila: Instant comparison! ... So where does the first "Fenty = Obama" post-mortem come from?

Beck on Top
August 29, 2010

Almost no one who attended Saturday’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall seems able to cogently explain what, exactly, took place. Was it a thinly disguised political rally? A triumph of Made in America inspirational treacle? A modern-day religious revival? When probed by reporters, happy participants and skeptical observers alike struggled to make sense of the prayerful parade that saw Tony LaRussa, Sarah Palin, and Eveda King take turns at a podium between prerecorded voiceovers about crossroads, awakenings, and miracles.

The Sorrow Of The Oligarch
August 27, 2010

Right-wing billionaire David Koch feels persecuted: David Koch, a billionaire whose funding has helped support grassroots organizations tied to the tea parties, slammed the “liberal media” today at the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) summit in Washington, D.C. “Over the last year, my brother Charles Koch and I have been attacked non-stop in the liberal media,” he said. Particular attention was reserved for Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece, which argued that the Kochs funded groups like AFP for personal gain.

Boehner's Deficit Blather
August 09, 2010

If you're advocating permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts, and you get asked about the impact on the budget, you have a few options. The first is to insist that deficits don't matter. The second is to argue that tax cuts cause revenues to rise. #1 is tricky given that pretty much everybody who favors the Bush tax cuts has spent the last year and a half painting the national debt as a danger likely to destroy the American way of life. #2 is starting to draw intense skepticism from the national press crops. That leaves you with option three -- blather incoherently: MR.

The Taxman Cometh
July 30, 2010

Last week, USA Today published a story about all the "ordinary folks" who might get hit with the estate tax. A $1 million exemption would affect a lot of families that are well out of Steinbrenner's league. "You take a home, an IRA or 401(k) retirement account, some other savings and you get to $1 million pretty easily," says Richard Behrendt, senior estate planner for Robert W. Baird and a former IRS attorney. Families who live in areas with high property values are particularly vulnerable, says Clint Stretch, tax principal for Deloitte Tax who lives outside Washington, D.C.

July 19, 2010

A text message instructed me to report to a midtown Manhattan sports bar, where I would find the members of the expedition recharging before the next day’s exertions. I was meeting two of them for the first time, yet, even over the din, conversation was natural and easy. Dan, lean and earnest, spoke of his last assignment in the Army and added, with that distant, intense gaze I’ve now seen many times, that his old unit had recently deployed again.

Homage to Catalonia. Disregard Your Rulers
July 15, 2010

"Catalans should disregard rulings by Spanish judiciary" is the headline to a letter in the Financial Times. It is signed by Gustau Alegret who wrote from Washington, D.C. I do not know him.

Islam: Unmentionable in D.C.
July 14, 2010

The recent suicide bombing against Pashtun tribal elders in Mohmand, a region not far from Peshawar, the capital city of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, made my mind return to conversations I’d had in Peshawar in 2000. Westerners could then roam the non-restricted areas of the province without much fear.