Monday, June 27, 2005

[9/04 - 6/05 -- Archived from old site]

Posted on Jun 27, 2005 at 12:36PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Man shot dead in NW
A soldier who had recently returned from duty in Iraq was killed and another man was critically injured during a shooting early yesterday near a Northwest Washington nightclub whose liquor
license renewal has drawn protests from neighborhood activists.
Police officers on patrol near the 1800 block of Eighth Street NW in the Shaw community heard
gunshots at 3:05 a.m. and found Antre-Vyn Mason-Black, 24, of Clinton inside a car bleeding
from gunshot wounds, D.C. police Sgt. Joe Gentile said. Mason-Black was taken to the medical
examiner's office, where he was pronounced dead, Gentile said. WP
Posted on Jun 27, 2005 at 12:34PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment

Man Shot Dead in NE
A man was fatally shot in the head last night near an automotive shop in Northeast Washington,
D.C. police said.The victim, whose name was not released, was found by officers in the 2100
block of Rhode Island Avenue about 7:30 p.m. The man was taken to Washington Hospital Center,
where he was pronounced dead. WP
Posted on Jun 17, 2005 at 12:57PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment

Coming Soon, Smoking Ban
There does not seem to be much in the way now. For the latest gripe session on this topic, see DCist
Mayor Anthony A. Williams has changed his position and now supports a comprehensive smoking
ban in District bars and restaurants, City Administrator Robert C. Bobb testified today at a D.C.
Council hearing.
Bobb said the mayor is satisfied, based on the experiences of other states and cities, including
New York and Montgomery County, that a smoking ban would not have a negative economic
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impact. WP
Posted on Jun 14, 2005 at 05:07PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment

Two Dead in NW
One of the young men played the drums, loved basketball and was the sort who would "give his
shirt to a stranger if the stranger was in need," his mother said.
That was Javelle Poindexter, 20, who lived on Harvard Street NW and was applying to enter the
Job Corps.
Poindexter and Antonio Alston, 19, were killed early yesterday by someone who apparently
walked up to them a few minutes before 3 a.m. in the 1000 block of Harvard Street NW,
authorities said.
Police said they did not know who shot them or why. Poindexter's mother, Jacqueline, also said
she had no idea of any motive. WP
Posted on Jun 13, 2005 at 09:15AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment

Just Say No Tony
Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff take a look at Mayor Williams in themail and remind us that he has done
nothing on his promise to raise "a million dollars" to help support the efforts of D.C. voting rights. Nor does
he own a home in the City.
A lot of good things have happened in the City while Williams has been mayor, and he deserves a lot of
credit. I wish him well in his next career.
In the 2002 mayoral election, DC voting rights advocate Joe Grano cornered Mayor Anthony
Williams in a radio interview and got him to make a campaign pledge to raise a million dollars of
private funds to support the cause of DC voting rights. In the intervening years, though Grano
and Nelson Rimensnyder have attended mayoral press conferences periodically to ask him about
it, Williams has done nothing to redeem that pledge.
The only local issue that animated and engaged Williams in the past year was his “negotiations”
with the barons of Major League Baseball. Williams also has to consider that his reputation and
political legacy rest largely on his having held office during years of good economic growth for
the city, and whether he wants to risk that prosperity and high tax returns will continue through a
third term. He will also have to weigh whether his reputation would be bruised by engaging in
what could be a really competitive reelection race, and whether it could be protected by not being
a candidate — and thus not an issue — in the race. In that race, opponents would highlight his
closing of DC’s only public hospital, his disengagement from school issues after promising that
the school board realignment would make him accountable for schools, his neglect of
neighborhoods, and his costly giveaway to Major League Baseball.
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Posted on Jun 7, 2005 at 01:50PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment

Support NORML - the Supreme Court says so
Below is footnote 23 from the Supreme Court decision denying states the right to allow medical marijuana.
The Court explains that it is now up to Congress to reclassify marijuana.
23 Starting in 1972, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
began its campaign to reclassify marijuana. After some fleeting success in 1988 when an
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) declared that the DEA would be acting in an “unreasonable,
arbitrary, and capricious” manner if it continued to deny marijuana access to seriously ill
patients, and concluded that it should be reclassified as a Schedule III substance, the campaign
has proved unsuccessful. The DEA Administrator did not endorse the ALJ’s findings, and since
that time has routinely denied petitions to reschedule the drug, most recently in 2001. The Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has reviewed the petition to reschedule marijuana
on five separate occasions over the course of 30 years, ultimately upholding the Administrator’s
final order. (citations ommitted).
Posted on Jun 7, 2005 at 10:28AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment

Bolden, the "campaigningest"
The Post's article on the status of the Mayoral race points out that A. Scott Bolden is running all over town
for something.
Over by the bar, Bolden sips an iced drink and mops his glistening brow. "Look at me," he says.
"You know I'm serious if I'm out here singing at Players Lounge."
Bolden spends every night and all weekend at gatherings like this. Community dinners.
Democratic club meetings. Little meet-and-greets. Most people have never heard of the former
D.C. Democratic Party chairman, so he's riding the grass-roots circuit. He's been to Ward 8
Karaoke Night at least twice.
Many expect him to drop out of the hunt for mayor and switch to another race, perhaps
challenging council member Phil Mendelson (D) for his at-large seat. Bolden won't rule out that
possibility and seems to recognize that the mayor's race would be a very long slog.
"I just want 80 percent name recognition. That's what I want," he says as the Buick cruises
through downtown traffic. He quickly dismisses that desire as a joke, then starts to laugh at his
own optimism.
Posted on Jun 5, 2005 at 09:09AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment

Howard U. Law Student Shot Dead
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A Howard University law student was shot to death late Thursday on a Northwest Washington
sidewalk, police said.
They said they were uncertain about a motive in the death of Elton Pierre, 24, whose family lives
in Maplewood, N.J. He was killed in the 1700 block of Third Street NW. Pierre, a Howard
University graduate, had just completed his second year at Howard's law school.
Pierre was shot in the chest about 11:15 p.m. on a street of two-story, red-brick rowhouses, near
Florida Avenue NW. He reportedly was just outside the door of a friend who lived in the block. He
was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died soon after arrival. WP
Posted on Jun 4, 2005 at 08:54AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment

Orange needs to spell check,
because I don't think he is a Councilmember of "Washignton D.C." I will admit I make that same mistake a
lot, but I try to use spell check to take care of such things.
Thanks to the commenter over at In Shaw who pointed it out. And I agree, there is too much Orange on the
site. Do you really need four downloadable photos him? Is that what people want when they go to the
'About US' page (which has another spelling error - "Biograhpy").
Posted on Jun 2, 2005 at 04:55PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment

Fenty is in
A crowd of more than 100 people packed Kenyon Street NW and cheered this morning as Ward 4
Councilman Adrian Fenty announced he's running for mayor on the steps of his childhood home.
Fenty promised a new era of accountability and acknowledged the city has made improvements
under Mayor Tony Williams, but said it's time to take the city to the next level. Fenty added that
more must be done to improve the schools, affordable housing and community policing.
Fenty said he's "absolutely prepared" for the scrutiny of a campaign and he will begin putting
together a campaign team.It's unclear yet who he will run against. WP
Update on Jun 2, 2005 at 05:32PM by Rollins
As seen at the Post, DCist, Times, Examiner, Common Denominator
Posted on Jun 1, 2005 at 11:23AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment

Teen shot dead in NW
Police searched Tuesday for two suspects in the shooting death of a teen and the wounding of
another. The crime happened in the same neighborhood where a young girl was killed last year,
and where just two months earlier, the mayor and police chief came to launch a homicide
reduction plan.
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Andre Belton, 17, was gunned down late Monday in what authorities said was a drive-by
shooting in the Sursum Corda section of Northwest Washington. Belton became the city's 66th
homicide victim this year, though that is 14 fewer than at this time in 2004.
An unidentified 15-year-old boy was wounded. Investigators said one possibility was that the pair
had been in an argument with someone earlier in the day.
"We're hearing multiple reasons why this happened, and our homicide detectives are going
through those reasons right now," said Commander Thomas McGuire of the District of Columbia
Metropolitan Police Department.
MPD offered a $25,000 reward for information in the case. But the younger victim -- who was
treated and released -- was not helping detectives. WP
Posted on May 31, 2005 at 04:19PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment

Man shot dead in NW
A 24-year-old District man was shot and killed early yesterday in Northwest Washington, D.C.
police said. Police responding about 1:10 a.m. found Todd A. Hawkins in an alley in the 800
block of Whittier Street, suffering wounds to the head and chest. Hawkins, of the 3300 block of
16th Street NW, was pronounced dead soon afterward. WP
Posted on May 26, 2005 at 01:36PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment

Columbia Heights, Gentrification and the Problems of D.C.
Yesterday's attack in Columbia Heights points out the problems that still plague Columbia Heights despite
the revitalization that has been going to for several years now.
While many people that have recently bought homes in the neighborhood, some because it is a convenient
location with great architecture, others as an investment, those people have good jobs, education and money.
Many of the people who have lived in the neighborhood for years moved their because it was inexpensive, or
there were others from their ethnic community.
Part of the problem is that these two groups (in simplistic terms) see things so differently. On the one hand
you have many people just struggling to get by, working when they can, but not always with a steady job. If
they have kids, they try to support them, but too often cannot provide for them. They most likely do not have
a college education, if even a high school diploma.
On the other hand are people who typically grew up without any of these problems, were able to go to
college, and now are on a career path. Many of them want the neighborhood to improve, and are putting a lot
of their own money into the houses they have bought.
But when violence occurs (all too frequently), the real differences between these two groups is exposed.
One group will cry out for further support from the government, for social services and education and
employment assistance. The side too often reacts by wanting more police to protect themselves, and for the
'other' people to move out, and for more like 'them' to move in.
While if all the poor folks were removed from Columbia Heights, that might be an improvement for some, it
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would not really solve the problems. And I suppose if the all the poor moved out of the District it would
solve some of the City's problems, there would still be the poor, now just further away.
I don't pretend that we can solve all the problems of economic inequality with a few social services. And I
don't think that gentrification overall is a bad thing. But the problem I see is that the two groups have totally
different views, and different proposed solutions. They can both agree on some things, like more police
presence, but beyond that their needs and wants are too different.
I don't have the solution - there are far too many factors for simple solution. But I think both sides need to
understand each other, and not blame each other. There needs to be at minimum a respect for each other --
you don't need to be best friends, just good neighbors.
Posted on May 19, 2005 at 09:59AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
Continuing Battle over Baseball Site
Councilmember Catania is continuing his attacks on CFO Gandhi's estimates on the costs of the new stadium
site. And now Councilmember Barry is getting in on the act. The numbers seemed to go against the City's
low-ball estimate for the new stadium.
"If the CFO were to do his job in a legitimate, honest way with a clear reflection of the facts, we
wouldn't be here today because this site would be financially unavailable, and we would be
looking to build this new stadium next to RFK," Catania said, calling the report a "bold-faced
Gandhi responded: "I think it is truly offensive to question one's integrity when one is doing the
best job that one knows how to do it."
"Thank you, you finally said it - we're talking about a billion dollars in debt," Councilman Marion Barry,
D-Ward 8, said in response to the acknowledgement by Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi's office
of the total estimated cost of financing land acquisition, new infrastructure, environmental remediation,
legal costs and stadium construction at the site.
Posted on May 16, 2005 at 12:22PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Drive-By Shooting in NE
Washington (AP) - District police are investigating the murder of a 21 year-old man found shot to
death not far from his home on
Eastern Avenue, Northeast. Kumash Deonauth was found just after 1 a.m. in the 6500 of Eastern
Avenue, Northeast. Sergeant Joe Gentile says he had been shot several times.
Deonauth lived in the 6500 block of Eastern and was parked when a dark-colored sport-utility
vehicle drove up beside his car and someone opened fire.
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Police say Deonauth was taken out of a car by paramedics and transported by ambulance to
Washington Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead.
The Metropolitan Police Department website offers rewards of up to $25,000 for information
leading to arrests and indictments in unsolved murder cases. NewsChannel8
Posted on May 15, 2005 at 07:14AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
more Tom Toles
Posted on May 8, 2005 at 08:53AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
35% Unemployment
The Post article about a new plan to require more City residents to be hired when the City is financing the
work notes that the City still has about 8% unemployment (well above the average in the area), but in some
areas one-third of the people are unemployed. That is a huge amount, and really that is only people who are
being counted.
"When you have 8 percent unemployment, that's phenomenal. And in certain census tracts east of
the river, it's 35 percent," Irish said. "Are we going to help these people? Or are we going to say,
'No, you're on your own'?"
Posted on May 6, 2005 at 02:21PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
What influence does Tom Toles have?
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Today's Tom Toles cartoon came out the morning before the judge declared a mistrial. The jist of the
cartoon is very close to why the case was dismissed. Also, this seems to be one of Toles' more controversial
cartoons, and that may be why the Post did not have it online (apparently) until after 7:00 pm.
But the judge's rejection of her guilty plea -- together with evidence at the court martial that
senior Army commanders tolerated chaotic, dangerous, and illegal conditions at the notorious
Baghdad prison -- could undermine the Pentagon's assertion that the Abu Ghraib scandal was
solely the fault of a small clique of enlisted soldiers.
Posted on May 4, 2005 at 06:48PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 2 Comments
Man Killed in Drive-by
A man was killed and three people were wounded last night in a drive-by shooting on Benning
Road in Southeast Washington, police said.
Shots were fired from one car into another about 8 p.m. in the 5000 block of Benning Road, said
Lt. Ed Bernat of the 6th Police District. The victims' car jumped a curb and stopped against the
side of a building.
Police said they knew of no motive in the shooting. The man who was killed was about 20 years
old, they said. WP
Update on May 3, 2005 at 12:48PM by Rollins
D.C. police yesterday identified the man slain in a drive-by shooting Sunday that left three others wounded in
Southeast Washington. Blake Hunter, 18, of the 1900 block of Fairlawn Avenue SE was in a Ford Tempo
with three other teenagers about 8 p.m. when another car pulled up next to them in the 5000 block of Benning
Road SE and someone in that vehicle opened fire, police said.
Posted on May 2, 2005 at 10:22AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Schwartz: Lung Cancer's Best Friend
Tom Sherwood notes that Councilmember Schwartz plans to continue to prevent bills that ban smoking in
bars and restaurants from getting a vote.
At-Large Council member Carol Schwartz is planning another hearing on the effort to ban
smoking in all public places. Schwartz held a lengthy hearing last year but did not move a bill.
She's indicated she likely won't move one this year, either.
Schwartz critic and commentator Mark Plotkin of WTOP is proposing "direct action" by those
who want the ban."To smoke (Schwartz) out, they need to have a smoke-in in her office and then
maybe she'll see the light," Plotkin told the Notebook. Plotkin says he smokes cigars several times
a year, but never in public places. "She talks about how much she loves this city, but she's making
(people) sick."
Schwartz snubbed out Plotkin's criticism. "She has no comment," a staffer relayed to us.
Posted on Apr 30, 2005 at 10:33AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 1 Comment
DCist on the Quimby Race
DCist looks at the mayoral race, putting Williams and Cropp in the 'likely' category, and puts Evans, Catania
and, for good measure, Barry in the 'yes' (running) category. Of course they admit these predications are
Honestly, We Have No Clue
Councilman Vincent B. Orange(D-Ward 5), lobbyist Michael Brown, and former Democratic
Party chairman F. Scott Bolden have all formed exploratory committees, but DCist's digging
didn't expose much in the way of obvious assets or liabilities. Their lack of city-wide name
recognition, though, may be enough to scuttle their candidacies far before Novemeber 2006 rolls
around. But they're well connected in other ways, so anything's possible.
Posted on Apr 27, 2005 at 05:25PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Nine-Year-Old Dies from Gunshot
It took only seconds for residents and friends to understand the significance of the growing pile of
stuffed animals, toys and flowers outside a troubled Northwest Washington apartment building.
Despite their hopes and prayers, Donte Manning, a 9-year-old boy wounded at that spot on a
warm spring night, had died yesterday.
Donte, who unexpectedly clung to life after he was hit in the head by a stray bullet March 24,
became the 29th juvenile homicide victim in the District since the beginning of last year -- a spike
in youth violence that has perplexed city leaders and outraged community activists. WP
Posted on Apr 27, 2005 at 01:47PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
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Exploratory Committee Websites
I received a glossy newsletter yesterday entitled "Should Vincent Orange Become a Candidate for Mayor?"
which aside from the "Orange Poll" is essentially a campaign brochure. He (or his committee) has a website
at (no joke):
And the Fenty Committee also has a site (as an anonymous poster let me know) here:
The color schemes are interesting - Orange's is, well orange which makes sense, but still ugly. Fenty's is
green, like his campaign colors, but considering is lack of experience, they might want to pick another color
to associate with him.
Update on Apr 27, 2005 at 05:33PM by Rollins
DCist provides a link to Michael Brown's site
Posted on Apr 26, 2005 at 08:32AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Teen Killed in SE
Lavelle Kendell Jones, 16, spent the last Saturday night of his life with two cousins at an
under-18 club. About 2 a.m. yesterday, the Ballou Senior High School student was in the
passenger seat of his cousins' 1992 Pontiac Bonneville when it pulled up to a traffic light in the
3600 block of Minnesota Avenue in Southeast Washington.
An unidentified car pulled up from behind. Gunshots burst out. The vehicle sped off without
stopping. WP
Posted on Apr 25, 2005 at 12:22PM by Rollins | 1 Comment
Man Killed in SE
A 31-year-old man was found shot to death yesterday outside his Southeast Washington apartment
complex, police said.
Officers found Michael A. Curtis in a parking lot outside the complex in the 1500 block of Butler
Street about 2 p.m., said Capt. George Dixon of the 7th Police District. Curtis was pronounced
dead at the scene. Investigators had few other details. WP
Posted on Apr 24, 2005 at 08:48AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Loose Lips on Fenty's Record
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Councilmember Fenty's biggest weakness in his potential run for mayor is his lack of experience. Loose
Lips breaks down his record, and highlights what he is trying to do to improve it. Of course experience will
be only one of many factors that people will consider when they decide who they want as the next mayor, and
there are some advantages to having less of a record to get picked apart, just ask George Bush.
Fenty's legislative record is a touchy issue for the second-term councilmember. He knows he's a
popular politician. He knows he's a favorite quotemeister for the local press. But his calm,
reassuring MO shifts into replay mode when the topic turns to his performance on the council
"All I can say to that is just look at my record," Fenty says. He repeats that over and over, with
only a hint of discomfort.
Posted on Apr 22, 2005 at 04:53PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 1 Comment
Hate and Partisanship First, Freedom and Liberty Second
The Republican have shown their hypocrisy once again in threatening to punish D.C. if it attempts to treat
people equally. We spend obscene amounts of money in Iraq to bring Democracy and Liberty there, but
when it come to gay rights and the District of Columbia, the Republicans show themselves as the dictators
they wish they could be.
A leading Senate Republican warned Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) yesterday that a move to
recognize gay marriages in the nation's capital would trigger a sharp backlash from Congress,
and the mayor acknowledged that the District could jeopardize its budget agenda and domestic
partner benefits if it mishandles the issue.
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (R), the new chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee
on the District, said he wanted to hear more from Williams but opposed a statement by the city's
attorney general that "validly married same-sex couples" may file joint D.C. tax returns.
Posted on Apr 22, 2005 at 01:00PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Williams Still Non-Committal
Williams gave an interview to the Post where he is seems to be leaning against running, if not indicating that
he won't run. Obviously with the other people in the race, or planning on being in the race, he needs to be
more assertive with his plans than he is in this interview. I say he should listen to his wife (like we all
Politically battered after nearly 10 years in District government, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams
said yesterday that he might not have "the energy, the tenacity, the discipline, the focus" to serve
as mayor of the nation's capital for a third term.
But Williams (D) said he might yet seek reelection next year. And after months of indecision about
his political future, Williams, 53, said he plans to start getting "some signals out" to political
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donors, community activists and clergy sometime this summer.
Still, Williams said, he worries that he might no longer have "the enormous amount of energy that
the job requires." And he worries about the toll public service is taking on his family, including
his wife, Diane, who does not want him to run again.
Posted on Apr 21, 2005 at 01:15PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
King on the Race
Colbert King weighs in on the mayoral hopefuls, and wonders like the rest of us, 'what is Williams going to
do?' King has some choice words for some the the candidates.
Until Williams buys a home in the City, I say he ain't running.
Brown, Bolden and another mayoral hopeful, Ward 5 Democratic council member Vincent
Orange, bring an abundance of ambition, ego and lack of shame to the race -- but not much more.
In a contest in which only the top six vote-getters could win an at-large seat on the Democratic
state committee, Bolden ran a distant seventh with 6.55 percent of the vote. His mayoral
candidacy lends a deeper and richer meaning to the word "hallucination."
And what is there to say about Vincent Orange that his detractors haven't already declared? A
ward politician with champagne dreams and soda-water ideas? Well, yes. A big voice but
ethically tone-deaf? Perhaps. A politician who cannot be bought? True. How about rented? Hush
your mouth. That leaves the rest of the field, both declared and undeclared.
Evans likes to say that with Williams out of the mayor's race, he'd have a shot. "Tony Williams's
voters are my voters," he declares, whatever that means. Frankly, I think I know, but I'm not going
Posted on Apr 18, 2005 at 12:43PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
The City Already Paying for Baseball
Metro officials said today that the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission will cover the costs of running
subway trains if Washington Nationals' games last beyond the system's closing time.
The subway shuts down at midnight Sunday through Thursday and it costs $18,000 an hour to keep it open in
the event that games run long. The system remains open until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. WP
Update on Apr 15, 2005 at 10:43AM by Rollins
or not - I guess if the game did not go that late, they would not need to run the Metro past 12:00.
Posted on Apr 14, 2005 at 06:41PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Orange's Party
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Councilmember Orange, who claims to want new regulations on exploratory committees, had his annual
birthday party at the Dream Nightclub. The Post article points out while it was not a exploratory event, he
did ask for money.
The article also mentions that at last year's party, Orange used his constituent services fund to cover the
nearly $3,000 bar tab. Usually constituent services funds go things like paying a heating bill so a resident in
your Ward does not get their heat shut off. But of course not everyone can afford $6 beers - and I am sure
that only his constituents got free drinks.
Although the event was not billed as a fundraiser, Orange said he did slip in a subtle call for
contributions during a five-minute speech before cutting the cake.
"I said, 'My birthday is actually on April 11. Do you know the reason I had it on April 8? Because
I need you to donate."
After last year's birthday party, Orange said he wound up paying Barnes $2,970 under a similar
arrangement. He said he pulled the cash from his constituent services fund.
Update on Apr 14, 2005 at 06:37PM by Rollins
Here is Barras Report on Orange's campaign finance reform bill. The bill is laughable.
YOU have to give it to Ward 5 D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange: The man is tenacious. But, he
thinks citizens in the District are dumb and blind. Consider the recent campaign finance reform
legislation he introduced. Mayoral wannabe #2--has proposed removing the requirement that
candidates collect signatures of voters in order to qualify for a position on the ballot. He says, let
them pay cash; that should be enough. It certainly would make it easy for people like him to run for
Orange also wants to mandate that the D.C. Board of Elections certifies signatures as valid even
when those signatures may have been fraudulently obtained. That would mean the folks who
circulated those petitions to bring slots to the city probably would have gotten away with the high
crimes and misdemeanors opponents claimed they committed. And others like them would have
free rein in future elections.
But here’s the kicker: Orange wants to require that councilmembers who run for another seat, say
mayor for example, forfeit their current post, if they should lose. Ironically, in the 2006 mayoral race,
Orange, if he should decide to run, would be the only councilmember who would be forced to give
up his seat to vie for the executive suite. (Orange’s term is up in 2006; he could seek reelection, run
for another office, or return full-time to his private practice.) Obviously, he’s hoping that other
councilmembers will think twice about running for mayor, if they are forced to relinquish their current
office. The Orange Opponent Elimination Method has been tried before when Marion Barry was on
the council and wanted to run for mayor; TBR need not explain what happened there.
If Orange keeps down this questionable path, voters most certainly will begin to see him in a
negative light. If he really wants to be mayor, believes himself the best person for the job, then he
should be ready for all comers, thus these political, distasteful shenanigans are unnecessary.
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Posted on Apr 14, 2005 at 12:08PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Lawsuit over Stadium Site
The owner of two properties where the new baseball stadium is planned has filed suit to stop it. This appears
to be a preemptive lawsuit, since actual eminent domain proceedings will (most likely) come later. This suit
appears to be made as being on behalf of D.C. residents in general (as opposed to individual landowners) to
enforce the cost restraints on the proposed site.
"We're alleging an injunction should be issued because of the substantial likelihood of cost
overruns," said James Tompert, one of the attorneys representing Siegel.
The legislation states that if the costs exceed that amount, the city must find an alternative and
more affordable site. Examiner
Posted on Apr 13, 2005 at 04:05PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 2 Comments
Keeping the Poor Out
The Post reports on landlords who illegally refuse to accept low-income renters. This, along with DCRA's
failure to protect tentants who want to buy their buildings, undermines efforts to provide housing to those
who can't afford to pay the high housing prices in the City. While some envision one big DuPont Circle style
community for the City, where unless you make six figures you can only rent a shoebox, many other have
worked hard to protect those of lessor means.
Advocates said the sharply rising housing prices in the Washington area and the steady
conversion of affordable buildings into upscale residences have resulted in fewer apartments with
rents low enough to qualify for participation in the voucher program.
In addition, the number of vouchers available is expected to decline considerably over the next
five years because of cuts in federal funding for the program. The Center for Budget and Policy
Priorities estimates that the number of vouchers available in the District will shrink by more than
Update on Apr 13, 2005 at 12:09PM by Rollins
A D.C. civil rights group yesterday sued several apartment building owners and property managers, saying
they refused to accept tenants who sought to use federal housing vouchers to pay part of their rent.
The named landlords control about 2,000 apartment units across the city -- from such affluent areas as
Cleveland Park and the West End to such working-class neighborhoods as Brightwood, Douglass and
Greenway. WP
Posted on Apr 11, 2005 at 02:07PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Catania still fighting Stadium
The question of how much it will cost to buy the land where the new stadium is planned is still not certain.
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But to hear Councilmember Catania talk, the site is not certain either.
At a briefing this week, several council members challenged the estimates submitted by Gandhi
and his consultants at Deloitte & Touche. David A. Catania (I-At Large) said his staff has found
several examples of land near the stadium site that sold recently for much more per square foot
than Gandhi estimated for the stadium land.
"If the CFO does his job right, this [land] will cost more, and we'll need to find another site that
costs less," said Catania, who opposes public funding for a stadium.
Posted on Apr 7, 2005 at 11:29AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
17yr old shot dead in SE
A troubled 17-year-old youth who recently fled a group home was fatally shot late Monday in
Southeast Washington, D.C. police said yesterday.
Police said they found Alvin Mayhew in the front yard of an apartment complex, near a Ford
Thunderbird that had crashed into a telephone pole. Detectives believe that he was riding in the
car with at least one other person when someone opened fire on the vehicle. WP
Posted on Apr 6, 2005 at 06:33PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
spelinng counnts
John Wilpers, editor in chief of The Washington Examiner, is pleased to announce the
appointment of Karen DeWitt as the editor of the paper's Washington edition:
Guess she missed this:
Top area capaign donors favor GOP
Examiner Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 12:11 AM EDT
Posted on Apr 5, 2005 at 01:03PM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
Two Killed in SE
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Two men were fatally shot in Southeast Washington early yesterday, D.C. police said.
Police said they found Dante I. King, 25, and Darnell Shuler, 26, suffering from gunshot wounds
about 2:50 a.m. in the 3300 block of 23rd Street SE.
King, of the 2000 block of Oliver Street in Hyattsville, died at George Washington University
Hospital. Shuler, of the 3300 block of 22nd Street SE, died at Howard University Hospital. WP
Posted on Apr 5, 2005 at 12:42PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
D.C. police found the body of a 26-year-old man with gunshots to the upper body about 6 a.m.
yesterday in Southeast Washington.
Eric Bartley was discovered in front of an apartment building in the 2800 block of Robinson
Place SE, not far from where he resided, police said. No further details were released.
Posted on Apr 4, 2005 at 01:34PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Two Killed in SE
Two District men were killed Thursday night in Southeast Washington in shootings that were
separate and apparently unrelated, D.C. police said.
Shawn Salim, 19, of the 4000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SW, was found shot in the
head about 8:20 p.m. in the 2200 block of T Place SE in Anacostia. Salim was taken to George
Washington University Hospital, where he died about 30 minutes later, police said.
Police said James A. Perry, 33, was found fatally shot at 10:30 p.m. at 15th and C streets SE. The
address is near the eastern edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Perry, of the 300 block of Todd
Place NE, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. WP
Posted on Apr 3, 2005 at 12:25PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Mayoral Race Waiting Game
Loose Lips discusses Councilmember Graham's less- than-firm commitment to the anticipated Fenty
campaign. The way Loose Lips sees it, it is just a matter of time for Cropp or the Mayor to announce they are
running, and the whole landscape changes. I still think unless the Mayor buys a house in the City, he won't
run. As for Cropp, we will just have to wait and see.
"Adrian knows that if Linda Cropp gets in the race I would have to reassess....I have a very high
amount of respect for the chairman and the mayor, too," Graham says. He expects that "lots of
people in the Fenty camp would have to reassess," if either heavyweight decided to run.
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And LL must have missed Cropp's announcement that she was retiring to the beach. Remember
the stadium debate? Cropp's eleventh-hour maneuvering that almost killed baseball was attacked
by critics as a power play motivated by mayoral ambitions. She's done nothing to stop the talk.
Posted on Mar 31, 2005 at 10:42AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Riggs Corruption Scandle to Continue
While the judge approved the $16 million fine for Riggs Bank, he took the chance to express his views on
the despicable acts of the company. Additionally, while the bank may be off the hook, individuals may
(hopefully) be held liable.
A federal judge yesterday approved requiring Riggs Bank to pay a $16 million criminal fine for its
failure to abide by federal anti-money-laundering laws and lambasted the bank as "a greedy
corporate henchman of dictators and their corrupt regimes."
"There is no way of measuring the amount of harm and atrocities and human rights violations
perpetrated by Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea as a result of the enabling criminal activity by
Riggs Bank," Urbina said.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein said the investigation is ongoing. Government sources said
the case has turned to the conduct of individuals associated with the suspect accounts. Only one
former Riggs executive, former Equatorial Guinea account manager Simon P. Kareri, has been
personally identified in other court actions as a subject of the investigation. Riggs, in Securities
and Exchange Commission filings, has said "current and former employees" are the subject of
various governmental investigations.
Posted on Mar 30, 2005 at 02:19PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Man Stabbed to Death in NW
A New Jersey man was stabbed to death and two others were seriously injured after a fight early
yesterday outside a Northwest Washington dance party sponsored by George Washington
University, police said.
Shortly after the event was scheduled to end at 2 a.m., a fight started outside the building, police
said. A 5-foot-8 man of either Hispanic or Indian ethnicity, wearing a white shirt and braces on
his teeth, pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed Ranjit Singh, 20, of Phillipsburg, N.J., police
said. WP
Posted on Mar 28, 2005 at 03:48PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
D.C. 2015
Jonetta Rose Barras has a good piece on the new budget, and where the City is going. As I have said before,
in many ways getting the fiscal house in order is the easy part - hell it is simple math, don't spend more than
you have. The challenges are many. Getting the schools functioning, which means making sure the kids are
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ready to be there, the teachers are trained, and someone is managing each school properly. Working so that
there are jobs for the City's residents who have not moved here after getting a law degree of MBA. And it
means getting the health care system to function so our health statistics are no longer third-world.
But three major, interlocking problems remain—public education, illiteracy and adult
unemployment. Williams' proposal includes $26 million for public education. There is not
mention, however, of the creation of a 21st Century vocational education program, which
is sorely needed in the city and could help stop skyrocketing unemployment rates.
It took 10 years to deal with the easy stuff. The hard work of effecting an efficient and
effective urban agenda will take longer. Achieving the desired results requires
collaboration between the city’s elected leaders, its civic leaders, and average residents
who pay taxes and want more bang for their buck. In other words, the entire District has
to get with the program. Williams and his city administrator can’t stop at the Wilson
Building and the executive’s recent budget submission. They have to get out in the
streets and create a revolution.
Posted on Mar 27, 2005 at 02:29PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
D.C. police are investigating a fatal shooting yesterday afternoon in Southeast Washington.
Police found Charles Green, 54, of the 4000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, suffering from
gunshot wounds to the head and body. He later was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police said he
was shot about 1:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of 41st Street SE.
Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman, said that a vehicle described as a dark-colored Mercedes
drove up and that a man wearing a ski mask got out. The man fired several shots before fleeing
the scene, Gentile said. WP
Posted on Mar 27, 2005 at 02:12PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Paying for Clean Hands
A. Scott Bolden has apparently paid $50,000 to cover the D.C. Democratic State Committee's credit card
bills, even though he did not make any of the charges. Of course Bolden is not the only mayoral hopeful that
had to pay to fix financial mismangement. As the mayor reminded everyone recently, Councilmember Fenty
had his own finanicial troubles a few years ago that cost him $17,000.
The Democratic State Committee (DSC) racked up $50,000 in credit-card debt during the
two-year tenure of former Chair A. Scott Bolden. The overspending has become a public matter
now that Bolden is exploring a mayoral run. Williams, who has recently turned combative toward
potential 2006 challengers, has chided the former DSC chair for failing to manage the
organization's finances. So Bolden has agreed to personally erase the red ink. Bolden says that "a
lot of charges were made by the mayor's staff and other District-government employees," at the
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Democratic National Convention in Boston. He also says none of the debt stems from charges he
made. Current DSC Chair Wanda Lockridge says Bolden dropped $25,000 on her two weeks ago.
He's written another check in the same amount that will clear later. Bolden told Lockridge that
he'll organize a fundraiser in hopes of getting some of the money back. Good luck—five potential
mayoral candidates are already shaking down the usual suspects.
Fenty, who stopped working as a lawyer when he was elected to the council, makes $ 92,500 as a
council member. This summer, Fenty repaid Hardy $ 15,000 -- $ 10,000 from his own money and
$ 5,000 from an account of Hardy's that Fenty later found, an arrangement that Lopez said he
considered fair reimbursement. Fenty has also paid $ 7,000 for the court's internal probe and
plans to pay additional costs for the investigation. (WP - 9/23/02)
Posted on Mar 25, 2005 at 01:35PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Shootings in NW & NE
A 9-year-old boy was shot in the face and critically wounded last night as he played with other
children on a sidewalk outside an apartment building in Northwest Washington, D.C. police said.
Investigators said a man standing on a corner started firing a handgun down the 2600 block of
13th Street in the Columbia Heights area about 9:50 p.m., in the direction of several children.
Cmdr. Hilton Burton of the 4th Police District said officers responding to the report of a shooting
at 11th and Gallatin Streets NE about 9:30 p.m. found a man shot to death. The victim was not
immediately identified.
Minutes later, police were called to the 100 block of Kennedy Street NW, where two men were
shot and wounded. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. WP
Posted on Mar 25, 2005 at 10:04AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
The New Budget
The mayor's proposed budget appears to have something for everyone. Of course some people will say all
the money is going to the wrong places.
In addition to providing tax relief, the mayor proposes to revitalize nine neighborhoods that have
high rates of poverty, crime and unemployment, starting with Sursum Corda. By borrowing
against the District's housing production trust fund, the city would build mixed-income housing
and provide intensive social services.
The budget would fund job training for adults and 10,000 summer jobs for D.C. students ages 14
to 21 who stay in school. And it would require city contractors to pay workers a "living wage,"
defined as $10.50 per hour or $9.25 per hour for jobs with health benefits.
"The mayor did a great job on the budget," Evans said. "But you know what the bottom line is?
It's nice to have money again."
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Posted on Mar 24, 2005 at 02:38PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
DCist on State of the District
DCist covers Williams State of the District speech better than the major papers.
They were not alone in picking up on Williams' comment that "I am not done" as a sign that he is running
again for mayor. But I still have my doubts - I think he just does not want to be looked as a lame-duck, so he
has not announced either way. I may be wrong - but that is my bet, and I am sticking to it.
Much like last year's State of the District address, Williams made a point of noting how far the
city had come from years past -- whether the decreasing instances of crime, the 23 days until the
Washington Nationals home opener, the fact that Black Enterprise magazine recently rated D.C.
the second best city for African-Americans in the whole country, or the ability to go no further
than Tenleytown for a Best Buy or Container Store, Williams made clear that the District had and
was moving forward in leaps and bounds. He likened the city to an extended family that ... 'after
years of financial ruin and sacrifice, is finally out of debt. The credit cards are all under control.'
This DCist couldn't help but think that so clearly identifying mayoral candidates was in its own
way grandstanding and scoring political points. It is shots like these, though, and those he
delivered mere weeks ago, that have led many to believe that "Williams in 2006" is a safe bet.
Posted on Mar 23, 2005 at 06:46PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Orange reveals donor list
As he promised, Councilmember Orange released the list of the donors to his exploratory committee. And
as he said, he has returned the money to those who did not want their names to be known.
The numbers show why it is so important that this information be open to the public. He apparently received
an additional $100,000 from donors who did not want people to know they were contributing to Orange's
committee. It makes me wonder who gave so much money, and if they believe in Orange, why won't they
stand by their money.
We don't know, but it could be just one donor. Even if it is not, the amount he had before he returned the
$100k put him far ahead of any of the others with exploratory campaigns. If one person or company could
give that much money to a candidate they could hold a great deal of sway with the person in office. And
keeping that influence hidden would undermine the publics right to open government.
D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. said yesterday that he raised $240,565 in
contributions to his exploratory committee for mayor but returned $100,000 from donors who did
not want their identities to be disclosed.
Yesterday, Orange would not elaborate on the contributors who declined to be publicly identified,
but he described them as Washington area business people. He said they were either concerned
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about repercussions because they do business with the city or worried that they would be asked to
contribute to all the other committees.
Fenty estimated that he has received $150,000; Brown said recently that he had received
$100,000; and Bolden estimated that he has $110,000 in contributions.
Posted on Mar 23, 2005 at 02:33PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
New smoking ban bills in the Council
Loose Lips and the Washington Blade have articles this week on the smoking ban bills that the Council now
has before it (and the Post editorial board chimed in recently too). SmokefreeDC has the breakdown of
where all the Councilmembers are on the issue, and as it stands now there appears to be the support needed to
pass a bill (they have Barry down as 'unknown,' but he told the Washington Times he is "for smoke-free 100
Of course the Mayor is still opposed to it, but I don't know if he would veto a bill if it passed. As Loose Lip
points out they may ultimately pass a compromise bill that includes exemptions.
Several councilmembers claim Orange—who has taken some steps toward the council's
pro-business camp—has said he will hold a hearing on the bill only if it includes some
exemptions, including one for strip clubs.
Brown and some health advocates think it makes sense to model D.C.'s smoking ban on New
York's law, which carves out exemptions for rooftop decks, private clubs, and adult-entertainment
Posted on Mar 20, 2005 at 09:23AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
GU students on hunger strike
Twenty-two students at Georgetown University begin their fourth day of a hunger strike today,
demanding higher wages for contract workers at the school. Students and administrators have
been talking for three years about the issue, and discussions on pay and benefits are ongoing. The
students say workers cannot live on less than about $15 an hour; administrators say increasing
pay to that amount immediately would cost the school nearly $2 million, and they would like to
phase in increases over a few years. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney voiced support yesterday
for the students and workers. WP
Posted on Mar 18, 2005 at 09:40AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Jack Evans - in tune with the City?
Councilmember Evans' Ward 2 constituents are some of the wealthiest in the City. Apart from Georgetown,
his Ward covers many of the areas that have gentrified drastically in the past ten years - the area from Dupont
Circle east to the new Convention Center. And while his proposal for a 5% cap on annual rise in property tax
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increases will help some of the people struggling to stay in their homes in those areas, it helps the wealthiest
homeowners the most. If Evans wants to represent all of the City as Mayor, he needs to consider all of the
Meanwhile, council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who chairs the council's Finance and
Revenue Committee, said he will continue to press for a 5 percent annual cap on tax increases
attributable to rising property values. The city currently caps such increases at 12 percent a year.
The mayor's plan is "all very good," Evans said. "But what people are crying for is the 5 percent
cap." WP
Posted on Mar 17, 2005 at 12:08PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
D.C. Cabinet Member Murdered
An appointee of Mayor Anthony A. Williams who headed the city's office of gay and lesbian issues
was found slain late yesterday in her Northeast Washington home, police said, stunning city
officials, activists and friends.
The body of Wanda R. Alston was found inside her home in the 3800 block of East Capitol Street,
police said. Authorities said she apparently had been stabbed, but they were awaiting the medical
examiner's ruling on the cause of death. WP
Update on Mar 18, 2005 at 12:57PM by Rollins
Jonetta Rose Barras :
I had to read the news article three times to believe what had been written. I thought it impossible
for someone so young, so vibrant, so talented, and only just arriving to the top of her field to be
taken away. But there it was: Wanda Alston dead—murdered, stabbed to death, by some unknown assailant
in her home in Northeast Washington. I was as devastated by that report as the mayor who said in a statement," My heart
is broken," and as wounded as D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton who called Wanda "a joy to work with because she
managed to be at once focused, determined, and effective in her work and great fun and really funny in a city that needs
that combination of human qualities." I came to know Wanda primarily from her work--first with the Census, later in her
capacity as director of operations for the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice. I admired her--even if I didn’t care
much for boss. More recently, Wanda had become the mayor’s Special Assistant for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Affairs. Whenever, I saw her at One Judiciary Square or at the John A. Wilson Building, she was warm and
friendly, but smart enough to keep a safe distance from a person who could be critical of the Williams administration. Still,
from my perch as political analyst, I smiled, watching her as she served as political operative, bureaucrat, and again as
political operative. With each incarnation she proved herself more than ready for the task. And while she and I weren’t
really friends, Wanda was one of the few people in the District government I genuinely liked and thought highly of. I am
saddened, deeply, by her death, and send my condolences to her family and friends with the hope that their pain might
soon be assuaged by the conviction of her killer.
Update on Mar 18, 2005 at 10:29PM by Rollins
By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
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Friday, March 18, 2005; Page A01
Wanda Alston saw more than her share of injustice in her nearly 46 years. As she was growing up in
segregated Newport News, Va., her schoolteachers made plain that they didn't expect much from "a Negro,"
she told friends. At home, her father treated her mother like a servant. Years later, her sister was raped and
All of that compelled Alston to fight for change, friends said, propelling her into the women's movement and,
later, into the upper echelons of gay activists in the nation's capital. Her hardscrabble past also toughened
her, friends said, making her fierce and impatient and sometimes abrasive.
On Wednesday afternoon, Alston apparently was still fighting when she was attacked with a knife in her
home. Her partner, Stacey Long, 37, found her hours later in a pool of blood in the living room, defensive
wounds on her arms, police said.
Yesterday, District police arrested William Parrot Jr., 38, who lived two doors away from her duplex on East
Capitol Street NE. He was charged with first-degree murder and was expected to appear in court today.
Police said Parrot knew Alston, but they would not discuss a motive.
The news brought some relief to Alston's friends, who gathered last night in a Lincoln Park rowhouse to
watch televised coverage from police headquarters. But they remained deeply saddened that Alston had been
struck down so soon after finding love and professional fulfillment.
"The terrible irony is that she had so totally gotten her life together, moved up into the mayor's Cabinet and
was a real important influence in the community," said Patricia Ireland, former president of the National
Organization for Women, whom friends described as Alston's mentor. "I keep thinking to myself, 'Well,
maybe this is what she was supposed to do.' "
After two decades in the District -- and more than three years as Mayor Anthony A. Williams's liaison to the
gay and lesbian community -- Alston was a familiar figure in District political circles, a feisty, dreadlocked
woman with steamroller political skills. Relentlessly loyal to Williams (D), Alston sometimes enraged fellow
activists. But her unflinching commitment to their cause also won their respect.
"Wanda was not an easy friend, but she was a good friend," said Philip Pannell, a Ward 8 activist, who didn't
speak to Alston for nearly two years after she refused to support his run for D.C. Democratic Party
chairmanship. They resumed their friendship last summer, Pannell said, after he watched Alston dress down
a national convention of gay Democrats in a Providence, R.I., hotel.
"She showed her natural black lesbian [self] at that meeting. It was the gay movement, and the gay movement
is basically a white thing," Pannell said. "She stood up and she said: 'I was here four years ago, and I talked
about your lack of inclusion of black people. And here I am back. And look at all y'all. It's just a bunch of
white men.' "
Pannell, too, grew up in Newport News, which he described as a harshly conservative town where support
was strong in the 1960s for the segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace. Alston, the
second-youngest daughter in a large working-class family, told Long that white youths teased her in school
and that teachers "let her know there was something wrong with being a Negro."
"I think she felt somewhat scarred by it," Long said yesterday. "It's something she always carried with her."
Alston also hated how her father treated her mother, Long said, making her deeply fearful of relationships.
Alston left home soon after finishing high school, joining the Air Force and later attending college.
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Alston moved to the District in the early 1980s, living with a brother and taking a series of respectable but
unremarkable jobs. She developed a cocaine addiction that she overcame in 1990, Long said.
Once sober, Alston began to blossom as a political activist. She worked as a NOW volunteer and attracted
Ireland's attention. Ireland hired Alston as her executive assistant. Over four years, Alston organized five
national marches and helped lead a NOW delegation to the World Conference on Women in Beijing.
"When I met her, she was scarcely more than a kid. I don't think she felt wholly at home anywhere," Ireland
said. "And I watched her grow into this incredibly focused and efficient and self-confident woman."
Alston left NOW in 1996, and briefly formed her own political consulting firm. She later worked as events
manager for the the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights organization. She joined the
District government in 1999, was named liaison to the gay community in 2001, and last year persuaded
Williams to elevate her job to a Cabinet position.
Meantime, Alston found love through a Yahoo ad. Last year, surrounded by friends, she proposed to Long at
Georgia Brown's restaurant, and Long, director of Bread for the City's Southeast center, accepted. In
December, Alston gave Long a diamond ring.
The women planned to get married next in June and live together in Alston's duplex. The plan was to bring
Alston's elderly mother there as well. Alston had picked out a spot for her mother's garden.
"She was such a warrior, so strong on the outside, but such a marshmallow and sweet and tender on the
inside," Long said of Alston. "I'm so glad I had an opportunity to be part of her inside self."
Staff writer Allan Lengel contributed to this report.
Posted on Mar 17, 2005 at 10:38AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Fool's Gold
The Senate's endorsement of drilling in ANWR is a set-back for energy independence, environmental
protections, scientific and economic advancement in this country.
"This is more than a battle over the wildlife refuge," Mr. Kerry said in a statement. "It's a battle
over two very different visions of our energy future. The president has a plan to sell off our public
lands to the special interests that his own scientists and economists admit will not make us less
dependent on foreign oil and will not lower prices at the pump." NYT
Posted on Mar 16, 2005 at 06:16PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Private Financing for Stadium
The City has recieved two acceptable finance plans that would reduce the amount the City pays up front for
the stadium. Of course, it reduces the amount we would be able to collect down the line.
Gandhi's study found that the Deutsche Bank plan could eliminate the business tax after three
years. The international banking giant would provide $493 million up front in exchange for
control of many of the revenue streams related to the stadium . The bank would assume the risk
that the concessions tax might not make as much money as projected, but the bank can more
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easily leverage the concessions revenue on the bond market than the District can because such
money, based on consumer spending, is not guaranteed.
Posted on Mar 15, 2005 at 02:23PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
More misspending at DCPS
Will this ever end? I know teachers and administers don't get paid enough, but if you can't live with what
they are paying you, work somewhere else. Using school money to give yourself perks shows that you care
more about yourself than the kids you are suppose to be helping.
Thousands of dollars in federal funds intended to assist poor D.C. school children appear to have
been spent instead by school administrators on retreats and unapproved travel.
D.C. auditors are looking into the public school system's use of these federal funds.
"You had at least principals and some other managers participating," Deborah K. Nichols of the
Office of the District of Columbia Auditor says. "No cost was spared." WT
Posted on Mar 14, 2005 at 11:12AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Woman Shot Dead in SE
Washington (AP) - D.C. police are looking for the person who shot a 21-year-old woman who was
sitting in a car Sunday morning.
D.C. police say it happened at about 2:30 in the 2,600 block of Douglass Road, Southeast.
Twenty-one-year-old Tiffany Hatcherson was sitting in a car when a group of people in another
vehicle pulled up next to her, and someone opened fire. She died at a hospital. NewsChannel8
Posted on Mar 14, 2005 at 11:06AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
Investigating DCRA
DCRA has long been criticized for being too slow and too bureaucratic. They have apparently made some
improvements over the past few years, but they may have just been cutting corners. Typically (from what I
have seen) most housing violations by landlords and property owners that are overlooked until legal action is
taken. There probably needs to be a comprehensive review of permits and licenses that the DCRA requires
landlords to maintain. While D.C. is considered to be a tenant-friendly place (as far as legal protects go), it is
still a good place for slumlords.
The allegations came during a far-reaching oversight hearing before the Committee on Consumer and
Regulatory Affairs, at which committee Chairman Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, charged that the agency has lost
sight of its mission to protect the public. Among the more serious allegations:
that landlords were permitted to violate rental property conversion laws by routinely lying on
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government applications, sometimes by claiming properties that were not logged on the tax rolls
were properly registered.
that the agency allowed numerous checks, ranging from $100 to $10,000, for housing-related fees
from landlords to go uncashed for months, leaving unclear whether the agency ever collected the
proper fees for some rental conversions.
that the agency allowed a third-party inspector to overrule a DCRA inspector's findings of unsafe
elevators. - The Common Denominator
Posted on Mar 13, 2005 at 10:01PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Wife Beat to Death
A 38-year-old man was arrested in the beating death of his wife in their Northwest Washington
home yesterday, D.C. police said.
Diane Ngbokoto, 32, was found dead at home in the unit block of Adams Street NW about 4 a.m.
after one of her children called authorities, police said. Police said she had been struck with a tire
Her husband, Joseph Ngbokoto, was charged with first-degree murder, police said. Police said
the four children in the house, ages 2 to 8, were taken into custody by the D.C. Child and Family
Services Agency. WP
Posted on Mar 13, 2005 at 10:42AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 2 Comments
Bolden and Brown - Saying all the right things?
The new (and improved?) Loose Lips has a take on A. Scott Bolden and Michael Brown. They both like to
talk about being for the common people, but that talk may be just that - talk.
Conversations with several east-of-the-river community activists reveal that the words most
commonly associated with Bolden are "egotistical" and "arrogant." "That's fair," Bolden says,
arguing that his "passion for improving organizations like the Democratic State Committee and
the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and lifting up the powerless could be mistaken for arrogance."
Well, perhaps because he pays for it. Bolden gives WOL $400 per week out of his own pocket to
host the humbly titled What Matters Most. He claims to have commitments from sponsors. WOL
program director Ron Thompson says the slot is "open to any responsible voice in the
Still, Brown will have to alter his MO a bit if he wants to profile as a man of the people. Last
Friday night, he held a campaign kickoff event at Ortanique, a swanky downtown restaurant. It
wasn't a great night for equal rights: Brown split the club into two sections, one for the rabble
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and another for VIPs. Somehow, LL and the rest of the media were left off the VIP list. LL couldn't
even get to the table where Democratic National Committeeman Arrington Dixon and Ward 8
politico Phil Pannell were having a drink. LL asked Andre Johnson, Brown's
exploratory-committee spokesperson, why they had roped off an elite preserve. Johnson said it
was to protect Brown's children. "It's for the kids," he said.
Posted on Mar 11, 2005 at 11:58AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Drive-by shooting in NE
One man was killed and two others were wounded in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Washington
early yesterday, D.C. police said.
Police said four men were in a Honda sport-utility vehicle about 4 a.m. at 17th and D streets NE
when another vehicle approached and at least one person opened fire, hitting three of the men.
The Honda was driven to Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street SE, and one of the men, who had
been shot in the stomach, got out of the vehicle, police said. He was listed in stable condition at a
hospital yesterday, police said.
The Honda continued to Washington Hospital Center, where a passenger died from his wounds,
police said.
The other man was admitted in stable condition, police said. WP
UPDATE: D.C. police yesterday identified Louis Barrino, 26, as the man slain during a triple
shooting in Northeast Washington early Monday.
Posted on Mar 9, 2005 at 10:32AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Cabdriver Killed in NE
The taxicab that Esayas Alazar rented was supposed to have been disabled, but on Friday night
he drove it to his death.
The 50-year-old Eritrean native was shot as he left a convenience store in the 4900 block of South
Dakota Avenue NE about 9:30 p.m., D.C. police said.
Alazar was leaving the Four Seasons delicatessen and convenience store and headed to his 1997
Ford Crown Victoria, which he had parked outside, when two men approached him, according to
police spokesman Joe Gentile. After a struggle, the cabdriver was hit by one shot in the chest. He
was taken to Washington Hospital Center and died 30 minutes later, Gentile said. WP
Posted on Mar 6, 2005 at 09:34AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Brown - Lying or Incompetent?
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The Post article on the suit against Brown's partnership group is stunning. What exactly is his excuse for not
paying the rent for this luxury suite? And why the hell did he not know that they were going after him? He
went through the trouble of setting up the 'Brown Family MCI Partnership Group' to rent this suite, so I can't
image he just forgot that he agreed to a $636,000 contract.
I would want some damn good answers before I gave any money to his exploratory committee.
In an interview yesterday, exploratory committee spokesman Andre Johnson said that Brown had
been unaware of the lawsuit, the default judgment or the garnishment order on his salary until
Wednesday, after a reporter inquired about the case. He added, however, that Brown "was aware
of some kind of collection effort going on."
A similar order issued by the court Feb. 1 was addressed to the Brown Family MCI Partnership
Group at the same North Capitol Street address. The person named as the intended recipient on
that form was Brown, who was listed as the group's managing partner.
Update on Mar 5, 2005 at 01:47PM by Rollins
No good answers provided on the Politics Hour. He just says they are "trying to figure it out."
Posted on Mar 4, 2005 at 09:11AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Evans jumps in - no one notices
The Post reports Evans has been officially in the race for some time, but no one seemed to take notice.
Maybe no one cares.
Evans was one of the Council members who voted against the exploratory campaign reform bill.
Speaking of the mayor's race, council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) says his hat is officially in
the ring. He may not have an exploratory committee like Orange and three other potential
contenders, but he does have buttons and bumper stickers left over from his failed 1998 run for
mayor -- and recently distributed them to reporters and put them on display in his council office.
"Yes, I'm running," Evans said this week. "I keep telling you that."
Posted on Mar 3, 2005 at 09:10PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SW
Washington (AP) - One suspect is in police custody after surrendering in connection with a triple
shooting this afternoon. One man died. Two women have non-life-threatening wounds.
The shootings took place in the 1200 block of First Street, SW. Police have already searched a
house in the area.
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It's unclear what led to the shootings. The man who surrendered is being questioned by police and
has yet to be charged. Channel8
Update on Mar 5, 2005 at 09:55AM by Rollins
Roland Clements, 19, of the 1100 block of First Street SW, was arrested shortly after the shooting and
charged with first-degree murder, police said. He is accused of killing Tony C. Hunter Jr. and wounding two
women in the 1200 block of First Street NW, police said.
Posted on Mar 3, 2005 at 09:06PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Blood Money Tax
As I have commented on before Riggs Banks, and the primary owners the Allbritton Family, have been on
the line for its involvement with brutal dictators. They have managed to settle for $9 million (this is on top
of a previous fine the bank paid). The bank will pay $8 million of it.
The Allbrittons will get an estimated $300 million for the sale of the Bank. As the record has shown, some
of the largest deposits in the bank were from Pinochet and Obiang, which may have kept the bank afloat. So
to avoid having to be forced to sell the bank, they knowingly took illegal funds, and aided in the concealment
of those funds for (alleged) mass murders. In the end, they get a slap on the wrist (with the Bank itself taking
most of the hit) and pocket millions.
Riggs Bank and two members of the bank's controlling Allbritton family yesterday agreed to pay
$9 million to victims of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for the bank's role in
concealing and spiriting Pinochet's money out of Britain in 1999.
In return for the payment to a foundation established for victims of Pinochet's repressive 17-year
rule and their survivors, a Spanish court agreed to dismiss criminal charges against current and
former directors and officers of the bank, including the Allbrittons. Riggs will pay $8 million.
Separately yesterday, PNC disclosed that certain Riggs executives and directors could receive up
to $15.4 million in payments when the merger is completed later this spring, including severance
payments and the cashing out of executive stock options.
Robert L. Allbritton would receive a severance payment of $850,000 if he leaves the company
after the sale. Riggs Bank chief executive Lawrence I. Hebert, a longtime Allbritton family
lieutenant, would receive $995,000, and executive vice president Henry D. Morneult would
receive $630,000.
Riggs directors and employees, mostly senior executives, would receive a total of $733,138 for
cashing out unvested stock options. In addition, executives would receive a total of $2.9 million in
unvested deferred and performance shares that were previously awarded.
Posted on Mar 3, 2005 at 05:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Campaign Finance Bill Fails
Council member Orange voted against disclosure of donation to exploratory committees, but is promising to
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disclose in two weeks. He said he wants to be able to tell his donors he will disclose, and that if they don't
agree to the disclosure, he will return the money.
"It's very, very disappointing that my colleagues voted down this crucial campaign finance
reform," Mendelson said in a written statement. "Money influences politics. The public deserves
to know who's giving to candidates and how much is being given. . . .
"Unfortunately, exploratory committees will continue to hide under a shroud of secrecy."
Along with Orange, council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7),
Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) voted against the bill.
Update on Mar 2, 2005 at 07:17PM by Rollins
I just noticed the Post's editorial on this:
Unregulated and undisclosed cash should not be flowing to would-be mayors. That elected
officials would act to keep the current law on the books -- which is the effect of what the
obstructionist five did yesterday -- is offensive to the public good. District voters wanting clean,
open and honest government should remember the five council members who stood in the way
Posted on Mar 2, 2005 at 02:06PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Man Killed in SE
A 27-year-old man was killed and a 17-year-old boy was wounded in a shooting early yesterday
in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.
Charles R. Ingram II of the 1800 block of Bryant Street NE and a 17-year-old were found shot
about 1 a.m. at 17th Street and Independence Avenue SE, police said.
Ingram was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died. The 17-year-old was
hospitalized with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. WP
Posted on Mar 2, 2005 at 01:18PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
More evidence Williams not planning to run
The Examiner points this out:
Winning a baseball team was hard work. Watching the team in action in warmer climates might
be the benefit, as District Mayor Anthony A. Williams is taking a trip to Florida to see the
Washington Nationals play ball.
On March 5, Williams and Mark Tuohey, chairman of the city's Sports and Entertainment
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Commission, will watch the Nationals play the Baltimore Orioles in Ft. Lauderdale.
On March 6, he will move on to Viera, the Nationals' spring training home, to watch a game
against the Houston Astros.
Posted on Feb 27, 2005 at 06:17PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Gay Activists Supporting Fenty
A reader pointed me to this article in the Washington Blade. With Catania still on the fence, Fenty is gaining
support from the several of the city's gay Democrats. Fenty is clear in his support for gay marriage rights.
“Tony Williams was the right person for the right time” when he ran for mayor in 1998 and 2002,
said gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein, the issues committee chair for each of the mayor’s
two campaigns.
“Now, Adrian Fenty is the right person at the right time for this city,” Rosenstein said.
While Rosenstein announced his support for Fenty in the past week, he and other local activists
say gay Democrats have been switching their support from the Williams camp to Fenty during the
past two months, in what some view as a growing trend that went largely unnoticed.
Posted on Feb 27, 2005 at 03:15PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Thurgood Marshall
In light of Black History Month, and becuase some people don't like the idea of honoring Justice Marshall, I
provide some of his words. This is from the first school admission affirmative action case in 1978.
For it must be remembered that, during most of the past 200 years, the Constitution as interpreted
by this Court did not prohibit the most ingenious and pervasive forms of discrimination against
the Negro. Now, when a State acts to remedy the effects of that legacy of discrimination, I cannot
believe that this same Constitution stands as a barrier.
While I applaud the judgment of the Court that a university may consider race in its admissions
process, it is more than a little ironic that, after several hundred years of class-based
discrimination against Negroes, the Court is unwilling to hold that a class-based remedy for that
discrimination is permissible. In declining to so hold, today's judgment ignores the fact that for
several hundred years Negroes have been discriminated against, not as individuals, but rather
solely because of the color of their skins. It is unnecessary in 20th-century America to have
individual Negroes demonstrate that they have been victims of racial discrimination; the racism of
our society has been so pervasive that none, regardless of wealth or position, has managed to
escape its impact. The experience of Negroes in America has been different in kind, not just in
degree, from that of other ethnic groups. It is not merely the history of slavery alone but also that
a whole people were marked as inferior by the law. And that mark has endured. The dream of
America as the great melting pot has not been realized for the Negro; because of his skin color he
never even made it into the pot.
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Regents of the University of Califonia v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265, 387, 400-401 (1978)
Update on Mar 1, 2005 at 11:29PM by Rollins
Other agree:
What more fitting a way to commemorate the life of the 20th century legal giant, who led the fight to end
school segregation, arguing the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court,
and who was one of the most influential men in American history not only for black Americans, but all
Americans, than to name an international gateway in his honor?
Posted on Feb 26, 2005 at 04:25PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 2 Comments
Orange sniping at Fenty
Council member Orange, who is also 'exploring' a run for mayor, is apparently not happy Fenty is getting all
of the attention.
Last week, council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. (D-Ward 5) accused Fenty (D-Ward 4) of
pursuing an attention-grabbing strategy that looks more like campaigning than exploring.
"Right now we're supposed to be exploring," said Orange, who hosted a free party for 600 people
on Saturday in honor of his own exploratory effort. "I think Fenty is operating outside the law."
By publicizing the names of his supporters, Fenty seems to be trying to build momentum for a
campaign that does not yet exist and is therefore skirting the law, Orange said. Fenty prints host
lists for each fundraiser and has made public the names of nearly 500 donors, though District law
permits him to keep the names secret.
"The minute I decide to run, I'll go down and file," [Fenty] said. "We're making the contributions
public because I just think it's consistent with being a public official."
Posted on Feb 25, 2005 at 10:24AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Examiner on Ward 4 40s ban
The Examiner picks up on the effort to ban 40 oz bottles of beer in Ward 4. The article is accurate (as far as
I tell) but they seem to be exaggerating the efforts of the AG's office - they are just going through the motions
of trying to have the law upheld. From the way the article sounds, you might think the city is involved in
some massive litigation strategy with a huge team of lawyers.
I happened to attend one of the hearings on this, and the all the city had was two attorneys trying (not
successfully) to defend how the law was passed. It sounded like the due process argument was going to do in
the law - essentially because the bill did not technically get two readings before passage, as required by D.C.
law. But I am only half way through law school, so I could be completely wrong.
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The District attorney general's office is aggressively pursuing legal action on two fronts to
overturn a federal court's injunction and implement the Ward 4 sales ban of less-than-70-ounce
single containers of beer, wine and malt liquor.
Multifaceted attack
The city is arguing its case on several fronts - that the U.S. District Court had no jurisdiction to
rule on a local matter, that the plaintiff's due process argument is "substantively meritless" and
liquor stores "have failed to show that their businesses' very existence is currently threatened."
Posted on Feb 24, 2005 at 07:25PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
NOTICE: Student Day Against the Death Penalty
Sponsored by the UDC-DCSL NLG Chapter
When: Monday - February 28th, 12:15pm - 2pm
Where: University of the District of Columbia, David. A Clarke School of Law
Building 39, 2nd Floor - Room 205
Who: Rachel King, ACLU Capital Punishment Project; John Terzano, Justice Project; William McLain,
What: Panel discussion on the current state of the death penalty, ongoing challenges to capital punishment
and the devastating effect of capital punishment on the families of death row inmates.
For more information:
Posted on Feb 23, 2005 at 06:16PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
DC Independent Film Festival
March 2- 13 at the City Museum. See the list of movies
The DC Independent Film Festival & Seminars (DCIFF) - is a yearly event where industry
professionals and the general public can see the latest most exciting independent films, whether
feature, short, animation or documentary, from the United States and abroad.
Posted on Feb 23, 2005 at 04:23PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Man Shot Dead in NE
D.C. police are investigating the shooting death of a 20-year-old man whose body was found
Sunday night in a Northeast Washington neighborhood.
Police were called to the 200 block of 62nd Street NE for the sound of gunshots about 11 p.m.
They arrived to find Shawn Starling with a gunshot wound to the head.
Starling, of the 5600 block of Eads Street NE, was transported to Washington Hospital Center and
pronounced dead at 11:59 p.m., said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a D.C. police spokesman.
He said the motive and any suspects remain under investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to call police at 202-727-9099. A reward of as much as $25,000
is being offered for information.
Posted on Feb 22, 2005 at 10:45AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Williams' Fence Sitting Helping Fenty
The Post notes that several of the people who helped Williams win the last two times are now helping Fenty.
The article also talks about one of Williams biggest flaws - he is just not a people person. Williams will
admit that, but then does not seem to make any effort to change. As I have said before, I will be very
surprised if he decides to run again - and all signs point to him not running.
In addition to Rosenstein, Fenty has persuaded Williams's Ward 2 coordinator, Budd Lane, to
sign on to his exploratory effort. He also nabbed Anne M. Renshaw, who served as Williams's
campaign coordinator in Ward 3. And this week, one of the original leaders of the draft-Williams
movement, Marie Drissel, will host a fundraiser for Fenty's exploratory committee in her
Sheridan-Kalorama home.
Posted on Feb 21, 2005 at 12:46PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Barry's Son Busted
This article does not look good for Marion Barry's son.
"For no apparent reason he just attacked one of the officers," said Capt. Angel Medina, of the 1st
District, where the arresting officers are assigned. "He just reacted and put one of the officers in
a headlock and started to punch him."
"My client didn't assault anyone. If you look at the bruises on his face and nose, he clearly was
the one who was assaulted by police," Bolden said. "There were three police officers against one
guy who did not resist, did not assault anyone. This case requires a lot more investigation by the
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When they arrived, the document indicates, the officers heard loud music and smelled "a strong
odor" they suspected was marijuana. After no one answered the door, the officers opened an
unlocked door, according to the document.
Barry, the report states, then tried to close the door on the officer's arm. Barry, who was
apparently alone in the apartment, then put Officer M. Fanone in a headlock and "began striking"
the officer "numerous times with a closed fist," according to the report.
Police also recovered two plastic bags, each containing a small amount of what appeared to be
marijuana, Medina said. The captain said a grand jury would have to decide whether to charge
Barry with drug possession.
Posted on Feb 20, 2005 at 05:43PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
D.C. Aids Rate 10 Times National Average
In the District, the city's rate is more than 10 times the national average. And those numbers are
expected to rise, said Kompan Ngamsnga, an epidemiologist for the city's Department of Health.
Compared to other cities the same size, the District has the highest AIDS rate in 2004.
The District rate was 162.4 cases per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 14.5 per
While HIV rates are rising in the general District population, rates among the youth in the
District have remained steady over the past 10 years, a recent public health study showed. Still,
the school system continues to emphasize prevention. - Wash. Examiner
Posted on Feb 17, 2005 at 01:05PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Train Ban Ripe for Review?
While I have not gotten to this in law school yet, I don't think this case can be heard yet. The argument is
that only Congress can regulate interstate commerce, so D.C.'s ban on freight trains is unconstitutional. But
Congress needs to approve any D.C. legislation before it can take effect (or I guess they have 30 days to
reject it). So don't we need to wait until after that 30 day period?
But this brings up another point, that if Congress gives approval to D.C.'s law, does it then overcome
constitutional a challenge - since it has been approved by Congress?
The District's emergency move to reroute freight trains carrying dangerous cargo away from the
city is now in effect, but CSX Corp. said it filed a motion Wednesday in federal court to overturn
it, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
Posted on Feb 17, 2005 at 12:48PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Vote on Smoking Ban
Councilmember Graham has a poll on his website on the smoking ban. Read below, then vote.
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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A
carcinogen, which means that there is sufficient evidence that it causes cancer in humans.
Environmental tobacco smoke has also been classified as a "known human carcinogen" by the US
National Toxicology Program.
Secondhand tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds. More than 60 of these are
known or suspected to cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke can be harmful in many ways. In the United States alone, each year it is
responsible for:
An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current
About 3,000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmoking adults
Other respiratory problems in nonsmokers, including coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort,
and reduced lung function
150,000 to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in
children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations
Increases in the number and severity of asthma attacks in about 200,000 to 1 million
asthmatic children
The 1986 US Surgeon General's report on the health consequences of involuntary smoking
reached 3 important conclusions about secondhand smoke:
Involuntary smoking causes disease, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers.
When compared with the children of nonsmoking parents, children of parents who smoke
have more frequent respiratory infections, more respiratory symptoms, and slower
development of lung function as the lung matures.
Separating smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not
eliminate, the exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.
Posted on Feb 15, 2005 at 08:12PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man killed in Reeves Building
Washington (AP) - Police were looking for a suspect Sunday accused of fatally stabbing a
29-year-old man in the lobby of a municipal building, authorities said.
The two men got into a fight about 3 a.m. at Club U, which is inside the Reeves Building at 14th
and 'U' streets NW, said Metropolitan Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile.
Both men were ejected from the club, but the fighting continued in the lobby, Gentile said. One
man then pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim, who was taken to Howard University Hospital
and pronounced dead.
The victim was identified as Terrence Brown of the District of Columbia. Police had only a vague
description of the suspect.
Residents have complained about the club in recent months, citing violence and suspicious
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Anyone with information about the stabbing was asked to call police at 202-727-9099. - News
Channel 8
Posted on Feb 13, 2005 at 01:30PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
New Takoma Rec Center
The latest addition to Ward 4. It is good to have Fenty!
Posted on Feb 12, 2005 at 01:46PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Corporate America and the Left
Kevin Drum's post on a Nation Magazine article got me thinking about a comment that was posted on
another blog last month. For some reason the comment, which was about the idea that corporate lawyers are
not all bad because they support the Left, has stuck in my head.
"Further, the corporate types are not all bad. Just because someone wants to do corporate law,
that's fine. Many of my good friends from law school have good hearts yet will do corporate law
in N.Y. Frankly, without them and their pro bono work and their $$$, the democratic party
would never be able to compete with the republicans."
The comment is accurate - I have worked in law firms here in D.C. where most of the lawyers probably voted
Democrat, and I am sure give money to Left wing causes as well. But the clients were typically large
corporations who (at least where I worked) were big polluters and would have supported the Republicans. So
while on one hand you could say the joke was these big Righty corporations because they were giving all this
money to Lefty lawyers; really the joke is on the Lefties because in the end (as a result of the Lefty lawyer's
work) the corporation has more money, and is helping the Republicans keep their power.
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And while it is easy for me to talk since I am still in school, I think if you are going to be a lawyer who
actually cares about what is going on in this country, you need to think twice about who you are working for,
and what you are helping them do.
"The largest public pension funds, including CalPERS, have always been conflicted in their
obligations to workers and retirees. They are supposed to invest only in the "best interests" of
their beneficial owners, which traditionally has meant seeking the best financial returns. But they
have often seemed to be playing for the other side — trashing the environment, workers and
communities, and cutting costs in ways that undermine long-term economic prospects. Dennak
Murphy, a West Coast organizer for SEIU, crisply explains: "We have nearly 800,000 members,
most of whom are in public employee retirement funds [including 210,000 in CalPERS]. The
pension funds take their money and buy stocks in two or three thousand companies. Then a lot
of those companies turn around and screw the workers."
Posted on Feb 11, 2005 at 10:16PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Evans in '06
Despite earlier saying that the baseball deal would sink his bid for mayor, Councilmember Evans is now
saying that it will help him. On the Politics Hour today he all but announced he is in the race. He will need
to make up his mind soon, as the money race is well under way.
Evans is a good guy, and does well in Ward 2, but as we have seen in the past, he tends to not do well
p.s. - Evans comments echo what I said in November would happen.
But who will use this [baseball] vote in their '06 campaign literature? Both - Evans to
show pro-development people he will continue Mayor Williams' work; and Fenty to
show the rest of the city he would have rather seen a new public hospital get built.
Posted on Feb 11, 2005 at 03:22PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Where the White Women At?
The City Paper's article on the new Washington Examiner paper distribution is worth a read if you did not
see it already.
And if you're a D.C. resident who gets the Examiner with your bathrobe and morning coffee,
you're in all likelihood white and very rich, according to a Dept. of Media survey. If you fall into
certain other race or income categories, you may have to go hunting for your copy: Black and
poor? Try a Metro stop or busy intersection. Black and rich? Cross your fingers or check
The local Examiner, which comes out six times per week, is the successor of the Journal
newspapers and thus shares their suburban focus. Of 260,000 copies printed daily, about 50,000
land in the District...
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Posted on Feb 11, 2005 at 01:00PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Welcome to Anacostia: Site of the New Homeland Security
The Bush Administration's plan to have the Federal land in the District surveyed in order to determine what
can be turned over to the City is certainly welcome. Today's article and editorial in the Post reiterates part
of why this is important - as the GAO concluded in 2001 D.C. faces structural impediments to raising
revenues. So along with being short-changed in our Constitutional right to representation, the City gets
short-changed by having so much tax exempt land.
We will have to wait and see what come out of this, but as the other article today points out, the Coast Guard
is going to be looking for a new location. That along with the new Department of Homeland Security, who
are now technically only in temporary headquarters (up by AU), the Feds might also be looking to do some
major moving around. And as we have seen with the barricades around the Capitol, they may be envisioning
some large high-security fortress (for Karl Rove to plan world domination ... uh, sorry, off-topic).
But to be cynical, one might suggest that if terrorists were going to target the Department of Homeland
Security - do we want any additional casualties to be among the wealthy, mostly white population of the City,
or over there in Anacosita, where, you know, they are poor and black?
District and congressional supporters began protesting in 2001 that the city loses out on $470
million to $1.1 billion a year in tax revenue because of the federal presence, a structural deficit
confirmed by Congress's audit arm, the Government Accountability Office, in 2003.
The gap is largely because 42 percent of land in the city is owned by the federal government and
other non-tax-paying entities -- such as embassies and nonprofit organizations -- and because
Congress exempts nonresidents who work in the District from paying local income taxes, or
roughly 66 percent of payrolls.
Although Homeland Security spokeswoman Valerie Smith said yesterday that the agency will keep
its headquarters on Nebraska Avenue NW for the "foreseeable future," Del. Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-D.C.) has said she believes the proposal to move the Coast Guard will be the first of
Posted on Feb 9, 2005 at 04:02PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 2 Comments
Fenty 1, Brown, Bolden and Orange 0
The Post below discusses its attempts to get contributor info from the 'potential' mayoral candidates. They
note that other than Fenty, the other candidates did not seem too interested in letting people know where they
are getting their money. This is great example of why I think Fenty is not your typical politician.
IT DIDN'T STRIKE us as all that difficult a request. This week, we contacted the D.C. mayoral
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exploratory committees formed by D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), attorney
Michael A. Brown, and former D. C. Democratic Party chairman A. Scott Bolden and requested
the names of exploratory committee members as well as the names, addresses and occupations of
contributors and the amounts of their individual contributions. We placed two calls to Vincent B.
Orange Sr. (D-Ward 5), who has formed a mayoral exploratory committee. Mr. Fenty's committee
quickly said it would provide the requested information; before the close of business on the same
day, the promised material had arrived. From there, however, the search for information on the
mayoral exploratory committees hit a stone wall.
Posted on Feb 7, 2005 at 04:07PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 78 Comments
Smoking Ban Did Not Destroy NYC
The NY Times reports on the state of New York City's nightlife since the smoking ban began. Without real
evidence to show that smoking bans will hurt the economy, there is no real reasons to not do it in D.C.
By many predictions, the smoking ban, which went into effect on March 30, 2003, was to be the
beginning of the end of the city's reputation as the capital of grit. Its famed nightlife would wither,
critics warned, bar and restaurant businesses would sink, tourists would go elsewhere, and the
mayor who wrought it all would pay a hefty price in the polls. And then there were those who said
that city smokers, a rebellious class if ever there was one, simply would not abide.
But a review of city statistics, as well as interviews last week with dozens of bar patrons, workers
and owners, found that the ban has not had the crushing effect on New York's economic, cultural
and political landscapes predicted by many of its opponents.
Employment in restaurants and bars, one indicator of the city's service economy, has risen
slightly since the ban went into effect, as has the number of restaurant permits requested and held,
according to city records, although those increases could be attributed in part to several factors,
including a general improvement in the city's economy.
But a vast majority of bar and restaurant patrons interviewed last week, including self-described
hard-core smokers, said they were surprised to find themselves pleased with cleaner air, cheaper
dry-cleaning bills and a new social order created by the ban.
Posted on Feb 6, 2005 at 05:44PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 2 Comments
Bobb's Contracts
As I have stated before, I like Robert Bobb, and I think he is positive changes for the City. The WTOP
report shows that he brought in consultants to help get the baseball deal done, and I agree with the idea that
there are many people in D.C. that could have done that work also. But this is part of what I like about Bobb
- he knows how to get things done, and does what it takes to do so. All too often the City brings people in
from outside of D.C. who get paid a bunch of money, only stay a few years, but never accomplish anything.
Ultimately it is the Mayor who is responsible for how the Executive branch spends its money. Williams
wanted baseball here, and despite a really bad deal, baseball is coming. If you don't like the baseball deal and
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the hiring of out of town consultants, get rid of Williams. I think Bobb is worth holding on to.
A new WTOP Radio investigation reveals that the District paid more than $100,000 to consultants
who were flown in from California at taxpayer expense.
The District's City Administrator, Robert Bobb, came to Washington from Oakland, Calif., where
he was the city manager from 1997 to 2003.
Records obtained by WTOP through the Freedom of Information Act show that Bobb has hired
several former colleagues to work for the District. Some in city hall have used the term "Oakland
Mafia" to refer to all the Bobb connections - and wonder why taxpayer money isn't staying here.
But Bobb stands by the contracts.
"I make no apologies for that at all," he said in an interview with WTOP Radio. "Not at all. None.
Zero. Zilch."
Posted on Feb 3, 2005 at 09:14PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Two Dead in NW
Fatal stabbing: A man was fatally stabbed early Tuesday outside an apartment building in Adams
Morgan, officials said yesterday.
Police declined to identify the man, pending the notification of relatives. The stabbing occurred
after an argument about 5 a.m. Tuesday in the 1800 block of Adams Mill Road NW, police said.
Fatal shooting: A District man was shot to death yesterday morning in a car in Northeast, police
Emergency medical workers responding to Rhode Island Avenue and Fourth Street about 11:20
a.m. found William Orji, 49, inside the car, police said. He lived in the 400 bock of P Street NW.
Posted on Feb 3, 2005 at 12:08PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Orin Hatch using the Race Card
The Republicans seem to not mind the fact that they are choosing Mr. Gonzales in part because of his race
and despite his qualifications. If they want to be in support of affirmative action then that might be alright -
but they aren't. Yet here they are willing to overlook serious questions about Mr. Gonzales that I believe
disqualify him for the job, and are doing so because of his race.
The message Mr. Hatch seems to be saying is that if you want to get ahead in this country, it is ok to put
morals and principles aside in the race to the top.
Leading Republicans countered that the confirmation of Mr. Gonzales would mark a great day in
American history, since he would be the first person of Hispanic descent to head the Justice
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"Every Hispanic-American in the country is watching," said Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican
of Utah and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted, 10 to 8, along party lines
last week to endorse Mr. Gonzales's nomination.
Mr. Gonzales's rise from childhood poverty in Texas to Harvard Law School and the highest
levels of government shows, Mr. Hatch said, that "in America there is no limit to how far they can
go." NYT
Posted on Feb 2, 2005 at 02:25PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
Washington (AP) - An investigation is under way into the death of a Southeast man.
Robert Johnson, 28, of Ainger Pl., was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the 2700
block of Langston Pl., in S.E., late Monday.
He was discovered in an alley and died a short time later at Howard University Hospital,
according to the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.
There are no suspects or motive in the case. Anyone with information is being urged to call (202)
727-9099. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that
leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. NewsChannel8
Posted on Feb 1, 2005 at 01:50PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Mayoral Race Money
The Post has an article about the money being raised in 'exploratory' campaigns. Fenty, Orange and Bolden
have each apparently brought in (or will) over $100K.
But Fenty (D-Ward 4) has yet to officially call himself a candidate. So the party was not a
campaign fundraiser under D.C. law. And the money collected that frigid night early this month --
nearly $100,000 -- need never be reported as campaign contributions.
Fenty said he expects to haul in $10,000 from a second fundraiser held yesterday in Mount
Pleasant. Last night, Bolden solicited his supporters at a gathering at the Lansburgh apartments
Orange said he has raised more than $125,000, and Bolden said he has raised more than
$60,000. Neither would identify their biggest donors or the size of their largest contributions.
Some of the contenders seem to have trouble toeing the line between "exploring" and
"campaigning." Bolden, for instance, said in an interview last week that donors have pledged
$150,000 "to the campaign."
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Posted on Jan 31, 2005 at 03:07PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Name that Metro Stop
Metro is apparently short a billion dollars, and is considering more advertising, including corporate
sponsorship of Metro stops. Of course several of the Metro stops already have over-extended names, I
imagine some entities will be interested.
Pentagon / Lockheed Martin Station
Capitol South / National Rifle Association Station
Foggy Bottom / Halliburton Station
Farragut North / K Street Project Station
Farragut West / Progress for America Station
McPherson Square / The Club for Growth Station
Union Station / Heritage Foundation Stop
Posted on Jan 30, 2005 at 06:50PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Bush Disses Delgate Norton
At the bottom of the article on the elimination of the D.C. Subcommittee (which seems like a good thing), is
Norton's version of what happened at the Congressional Black Caucus meeting. The way it reads is
extremely insulting to Norton, and in turn to all D.C. residents.
This gets to the point about how effective Norton and Williams have been with Congress and the
Administration. I know Norton can spit fire on the House floor, but if she just sat there while the President
basically told her to fuck off, then I think we need someone else in that position. I have great respect for
Delegate Norton, but maybe we need someone new roaming the halls of Congress speaking for us.
When members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Bush in the Oval Office on
Wednesday, the president brushed off Norton's query about whether he would reconsider his
opposition to voting rights for the District. Norton carried with her a recent editorial cartoon
depicting Bush looking out with binoculars from a White House tower over the District and the
caption, "Scanning the distant horizons looking for people craving democracy."
"I said: 'Mr. President, leaving aside my own bill, three Republicans in the House have filed bills
looking for D.C. voting representation," Norton said. "If any one or combination of them reaches
you, would you . . . sign them?'
"He smiled and moved on to the next person," she said.
Posted on Jan 28, 2005 at 04:55PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
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Judge Questions Riggs Bank Deal
The judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, seems to be skeptical of the relative
small fine also. The Post report repeats more of what is known about these deals. The Justice Department
seems content that the fine is comparably larger to other ones in similar cases. But do these other cases
involve murder and corruption on such a high level? Riggs willingly provided illegal services to known (or
at the very least highly suspect) criminal governments. These people arguably are on the par with Saddam
Hussein, yet while individuals at Riggs Bank provided aid and comfort to them, there will be no real
I don't know how much the judge can do in the case, but at the least he can reject this deal and have the
Justice Department get more money out of Riggs. Ultimately these people should be going to jail. Riggs
Bank supported terrorists, and these days that is suppose to mean something.
Urbina yesterday questioned both Riggs and prosecutors about the size of the fine and whether it
was truly punitive. "What I'm trying to get a feel for is, how much is $16 million?" he asked. "Is it
just a business expense for the bank?"
The filing described efforts by Riggs to disguise Pinochet's accounts from regulatory scrutiny and
enable the former Chilean general to move his money through Riggs's internal accounts so that
his funds could not be traced. The regime of Pinochet, who took power in a quick and bloody
1973 coup and was dictator until 1990, has been widely accused of murdering political
dissidents in Chile and abroad. Pinochet is under house arrest on charges of murder, and his
finances at Riggs are the subject of a separate criminal investigation in Chile.
Equatorial Guinea became a Riggs client in 1995, soon after billions of dollars in oil reserves
were discovered off its coast. Its regime, headed by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, is
considered one of the most corrupt and repressive in West Africa. Ultimately, Equatorial Guinea
became Riggs's biggest depositor, with accounts worth as much as $700 million at their peak.
Update on Jan 29, 2005 at 04:51PM by Rollins
The Post created this timeline
Posted on Jan 28, 2005 at 04:19PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Man killed in NW
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Warren Asher Jr. lived just down the street from the FBI's headquarters, in a downtown
apartment building called the Lexington. An upscale address popular with government and
corporate types, the building on D Street NW counts City Administrator Robert C. Bobb among its
But last week, Asher, a 57-year-old federal worker who liked to be called Rusty, was found dead
in his sixth-floor apartment -- strangled, according to the D.C. medical examiner's office. WP
On a side note, the Post report was over 600 words, and notes the location was "It is an unlikely setting for a
homicide." What exactly is a likely setting for a homicide? And why don't the other murders in town get 600
words (apart from the piece on the first murder of the year)?
Posted on Jan 28, 2005 at 01:12PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Riggs Bank's Blood Money
As I posted earlier, Riggs Bank has been laundering money for corrupt governments overseas. They have
actually pleaded guilty to this, and are paying a fine. Of course the money for the fine goes to the U.S.
Treasury, instead of to the nations where the money was taken from. Apparently details of the transaction are
going to be revealed as part of the deal, but I don't know what will happen with this information.
And despite overseeing this activity, the Allbritton family will still make $300 million when the sale of the
bank goes through. So the lesson is to only aid and abet murderous dictatorships that are friendly to the U.S.,
otherwise you might actually get in trouble.
Riggs pleaded guilty today to one count of failing to file suspicious activity reports. Those are
documents banks are required to submit to law enforcement authorities when officers are aware
of questionable activity involving a client.
The agreement includes descriptions of numerous transactions involving Equatorial Guinea and
officials of that West African country, including its president, a dictator accused by human rights
advocates of pocketing much of that nation's $500 million a year in oil revenue. It also details
transactions involving former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who conducted business at
Riggs, often under assumed names, for nearly 20 years.
If the sale goes through under the current terms, the Allbritton family stands to walk away with
close to $300 million.
Posted on Jan 27, 2005 at 06:16PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Hate Amendment on Top of GOP List
Senate Leader Frist introduced the Senate's legislative 'Top Ten' with the FMA as item number one. Is that
really the most pressing item in this Country? Let's see - war, terrorism, economic decline, health insurance
crises .... maybe it is just me, but putting discrimination into the Constitution does not seem to help any of
those problems.
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When the Senate marked the start of a new session yesterday by releasing the traditional list of the
"Top Ten" legislative issues, pro-family causes figured largely among them; and Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist, who presented the list, highlighted Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, the Marriage
Protection Amendment (MPA). In his presentation, Frist drew a clear distinction between himself
and the White House, pointing out the significance of making the proposed amendment "S.J. Res.
No 1." He said in so doing, the Senate sponsors and supporters of the legislation have shown that
"we will continue to defend marriage against activist judges" and "protect the family as the
cornerstone of a healthy society."
The senator added that "marriage should remain the union of a man and a woman," because
children "do best" with a mother and a father. "I am hopeful," Frist said, "that S.J. Res. 1 will
actually pass the 109th Congress and be sent to the states for ratification." Frist's words of
optimism and commitment are just the kind of statement many pro-family leaders have been
waiting to hear from the Bush administration. Agape
Posted on Jan 26, 2005 at 09:45PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Bush's Hypocrisy
Posted on Jan 26, 2005 at 06:01PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 1 Comment
Recall Councilmember Ambrose?
Mary C. Williams, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 6 and chairman of the Committee to
Recall Sharon Ambrose, submitted the recall notice Jan. 12 to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics....
"She is successful at ignoring a majority of residents and supporting costly commercial developments
that have an adverse impact on neighborhoods," Williams wrote in the notice ."
According to information supplied by the elections board, Williams and her committee would have 180 days
from the date of Ambrose's response to circulate a petition and collect signatures from at least 10 percent
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of Ward 6 voters, if the board approves the petition language. If the effort succeeds in gathering the
required signatures, a special recall election will take place, in which Ward 6 voters would cast ballots
"for" or "against" the removal of the elected official. -Common Denominator
Posted on Jan 25, 2005 at 06:16PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport
Mr. Burns' bill — which would rename the facility Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington
International Airport — enjoys bipartisan support in the House of Delegates.
As a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Justice
Marshall argued the Brown v. Board of Education (of Topeka, Kan.) case before the high court in
1954. The Supreme Court's landmark ruling outlawed segregation in public schools.
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Mr. Marshall as U.S. solicitor general, then named
him to the Supreme Court in 1967. WT
Posted on Jan 25, 2005 at 06:10PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 8 Comments
DC Vote Poll
The poll is not too surprising - most people don't understand the situation in D.C., and once they get an
understanding of what is happening they realize it is wrong.
DC Vote's national survey of 1,007 people found that a majority of respondents were unaware of
the District's status. For example, 78 percent thought that D.C. residents have voting rights in
Congress equal to those of residents of the 50 states. WP
Posted on Jan 25, 2005 at 06:01PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
It Pays to Protest
... in a City where the Police don't seem to know about those documents at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
protected under thick glass in climate controlled chamber (that would be the Constitution and Bill of Rights).
Congrats Adam!!
The seven plantiffs, including Adam Eidinger, his wife Alexis Baden-Mayer and her father Joe
Mayer, will receive $48,000 each and a letter of apology from Metropolitan Police Department
(MPD) Chief Charles Ramsey. DCist
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Posted on Jan 24, 2005 at 08:30PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Hate Amendment Reintroduced
While Bush has said he won't press for its passage, Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) has re-introduced the
Marriage Protection Amendment. Of course taking Bush on his word is almost as dumb as the amendment
According to an article in The Rocky Mountain News, Allard today plans to reintroduce the
so-called Marriage Protection Amendment, which would deny marriage to same-sex couples and
deny the ability to provide any protections to same-sex couples, such as domestic partnerships
and civil unions.
If you are lucky enough to live in a state with Senators, you can write them here.
Posted on Jan 24, 2005 at 08:22PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
So long dollar
Apparently banks are begining to put their reserves into Euros instead of Dollars. FT is reporting this, but
the server is currently too busy - it is big news.
Via ACSblog
The Financial Times reports that central banks are shifting money away from the dollar and
towards Europe. They warn that this action will likely undermine the dollar's value and "deepen
the Bush administration's difficulties in financing its ballooning current account deficit."
Update on Jan 24, 2005 at 08:19PM by Rollins
Here is another link to it.
Any reluctance to increase exposure to dollar assets further could cause the greenback to plunge on currency
"The US cannot take support for the dollar for granted," said Nick Carver, one of the authors of the study
conducted by Central Banking Publications, a company that specialises in reporting on central banks.
Posted on Jan 24, 2005 at 01:36PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
City finally overhauls youth services
This was long overdue, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. Though by the time most of these kids get
into to the juvenile justice system, they are pretty hard to straighten out. But if there is a good program with
good people, you can at least save a few of them.
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The D.C. government yesterday created a new agency to care for young people in the criminal
justice system, giving Mayor Anthony A. Williams more direct responsibility for reforming the
city's troubled juvenile programs.
The new Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services had been part of the District's welfare
agency. The agency chief now reports directly to the mayor.
Poor conditions at the city's juvenile jail have been a problem for nearly 30 years. The District's
juvenile detention programs were placed under court supervision in 1986.
Yesterday, D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Rufus King III praised the city's efforts to prevent
juvenile crime.
"The time is right for this move," Judge King said. "They mayor is putting his prestige on the
Mr. Williams, a Democrat, nominated nationally known juvenile justice advocate Vincent Shiraldi
to head the new department, starting Monday. City Administrator Robert C. Bobb began
reforming the city's youth services when he arrived in Washington in September. WT
Posted on Jan 23, 2005 at 10:51AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
child beaten to death, three men shot dead
D.C. police are investigating the beating death of a 2-month-old boy, authorities said yesterday.
Police said Tavonte Mobley was found unconscious at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in an apartment
building in the 3900 block of Fourth Street SE. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later
at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. No arrests have been made.
Two men have died since Friday in separate shootings on the streets of Southeast, police said.
A man, 18, who had multiple gunshot wounds was found at 5:10 p.m. Friday in an intersection at
Minnesota Avenue and T Street SE, police said.
In the other incident, a man, 48, with several gunshot wounds was found yesterday at 3:20 a.m. in
a 1993 Pontiac in the 1600 block of U Street. The man was pronounced dead a short time later.
Neither man's identity was released.
A D.C. police sergeant shot to death a man armed with a gun early yesterday in a Southeast
Washington apartment building, police said.
Authorities said they were called about 5:10 a.m. to investigate a report of an assault in the 2600
block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Sgt. Andre Wright went to the building's fourth-floor
hallway, where a man with a gun turned toward him, police said. Wright shot the man several
times, police said. The man, identified as Timothy Giddings, 25, was in the hallway after
confronting another man in an argument, police said.
Police said they recovered a loaded handgun at the scene. Wright has been placed on
administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. WP
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Posted on Jan 23, 2005 at 10:47AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
David Brooks' Fantasy World
Somehow David Brooks sees the true absurdity of the inauguration, but believes that it is not what Bush
supporters are all about. Does Brooks really think that the people who supported the Swift Boats campaign
give a shit about people in other countries, unless they have natural resources they can profit from? Do they
really care about national security for the protection of the people, or to preserve their investments? These
people support the principles and ideals of this country when it suits them, when they can use it to their
I don't mean to say all Republicans are like this, but the people who are behind the Bush money machine are
only looking for a return on their investment. And any real look at the Bush policies belies what Brooks is
The people who detest America take a look at this odd conjunction and assume the materialistic
America is the real America; the ideals are a sham. The real America, they insist, is the
money-grubbing, resource-wasting, TV-drenched, unreflective bimbo of the earth. The high-toned
language, the anti-Americans say, is just a cover for the quest for oil, or the desire for riches,
dominion and war.
But of course they've got it exactly backward. It's the ideals that are real.
Americans are, as George Santayana observed, "idealists working on matter." On Thursday in
Washington, the ideal and the material were on ample display. And we're reminded once again
that this country has grown rich, powerful and effective not because its citizens are smarter or
better, but because the ideals bequeathed by the founders are practical and true.
Posted on Jan 22, 2005 at 03:30PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
And this accomplishes what?
An impromptu demonstration by a crowd spilling from a "counter-inaugural ball" in Adams
Morgan late Thursday turned into one of the biggest Inauguration Day disturbances, leaving
windows smashed and nearly 80 people arrested.
Self-described anarchists, fans who had attended the punk-rock ball and passersby joined in a
melee in the area of 18th Street and Columbia Road NW, where police said they spray-painted
buildings with the red "A" anarchists use as their symbol, threw a brick through the windshield of
a police vehicle and smashed out glass windows and doors at a police substation and at Riggs
Bank and Citibank branches.
The crowd of a couple hundred people was made up of anarchists who had attended the ball and
several inaugural demonstrations earlier in the day, as well as people who decided on a whim to
join the noisy, late-night procession. Police said the demonstrators were mostly in their early- to
mid-twenties and largely came from out of town. WP
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Posted on Jan 22, 2005 at 11:47AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
D.C. police are investigating the shooting death of a man in Southeast Washington yesterday,
authorities said. Officers were called to the 1400 block of Minnesota Avenue about a shooting
about 5 p.m. and found a man with a gunshot wound to the body, police said. The victim was
taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police did not release
the victim's name pending positive identification. WP
Posted on Jan 22, 2005 at 10:01AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Faith for Fenty for Mayor?
You see the signs around town, and wonder exactly what they are for, but Faith is actually a woman who runs
for mayor every four years. She is apparently going to run again, but is apparently a Fenty supporter as
As it turns out, Faith, who goes by one name, is also planning a run for mayor, her seventh. But
she showed up at the home of Bill and Cynthiana Lightfoot for the Jan. 8 event because, she said,
she's got a soft spot in her heart for Fenty (D-Ward 4). "He's one of the most uncorruptible
people around politics that I've seen in my life," she said.
Posted on Jan 21, 2005 at 04:46PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Fannie Mae: do as we say, not as we do
Fannie Mae (which currently has its offices up Wisconsin Ave.) had planned to move down to Southwest, not
too far from the new stadium site. But apparently they are not going to move. The new headquarters would
have been at the Waterside Mall location, where the EPA moved out of a few years ago. It seemed like a
good place to be, right by the Capitol and with a Metro stop right there (though the neighborhood is a bit
rough). Also the real estate they are sitting on now must be very valuable (I envisioned grossly over-prices
'luxury condos' going up at the spot.)
The company, which is a quasi-public mortgage company, is apparently concerned with making the
investment in the real estate. Considering that their entire business relies on people taking the risk of buying
homes and other real estate, for Fannie Mae to not want want to do it seems a bit odd to me. Maybe they
know something about the future of the real estate market we don't.
The project was in its early stages, "and this didn't seem to be a good time" to be embarking on
"what essentially would be a major transaction with obviously a certain amount of cost to it, both
in money and in time," said a source close to the company, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because of the sensitivity of communications about Fannie Mae's actions. WP
Posted on Jan 21, 2005 at 04:00PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Where to get ripped off in D.C.
I ship things by UPS often so I have an account, but for 'ground service' you have to drop off the package at
an authorized store. For most stores that means just handing it to the person behind the counter.
But at PO Boxes, etc. (at 1728 Wisconsin Ave.) if you want to drop off something for UPS you apparently
have to pay $3. I was shipping a letter sized envelope, so the shipping was only about $5, - to pay an
additional $3 for no reason is a bit much (the envelope already had a label, so the there was nothing else to be
done but to hand it to the UPS driver.)
So, if you want to get ripped off, go to PO Boxes, etc. on Wisconsin Ave.
Posted on Jan 21, 2005 at 03:48PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
slow news day
Was there a parade or something downtown today?
Posted on Jan 20, 2005 at 06:54PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Bobb's Government
The Barras Report had the scoop on possible changes in the Williams Administration, which has been
reported today to be accurate. I like Mr. Bobb, and I think he can make some real positive changes for the
City. Hopefully now that he has the people he wants in position, he can make real progress.
And while Ms. Barras speculates on the Mayor still thinking about running for re-election, I think it would
be better if he did not (besides that I don't want him to run). If Williams does run, he will end up playing
politics to position himself better for the race, which might prevent Bobb from making needed changes if they
are seen to be potentially unpopular with voters.
This may be a test of the city administrator’s clout with his boss. If Bobb’s choice gets the nod, it
means that he has gained full control of the upper-levels of the bureaucracy. Bobb would have
selected all of the current deputy mayors--except for Herb Tillery, who was hired under the reign
of John Koskinen, as were many of the agency directors. But since arriving 18 months ago, Bobb
as systematically sought to reshape the government in his own image, changing leadership at the
health department, the youth services administration, the Office of Contracting and Procurement,
and soon DCRA and the DHCD.
Posted on Jan 19, 2005 at 04:42PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
No inauguration security money?
I am confused - as I posted earlier it seemed like Homeland Security was picking up the tab for the
inauguration money that exceeded what D.C. had from its Homeland Security funding. But as the Post
indicates today there still seems to be the $11 million shortfall.
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The issue of security is what got D.C. into the situation it is in with Congress having exclusive legislative
control over the City. The story is that when the Continental Congress was meeting in Philly a mob of
veterans from the revolutionary war were demanding their pay, and the State of Pennsylvania would not bring
in any police to disburse the mob of veterans. So as to avoid this type of thing again they included into the
Constitution the provision about the 10 square mile District, which Congress has exclusive legislative control
Last week, eight House Democrats from the District, Maryland and Virginia, along with both
Democratic senators from Maryland, sent letters to the president. Meanwhile, D.C. Council
member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), among others, urged Williams to tell the Bush
administration, in essence, no cash, no cops.
Posted on Jan 19, 2005 at 04:17PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Build the Dream
"Please know this, the memorial to Martin will send a message to the world that this country is a place of
inclusion , rather than exclusion. This memorial will serve as a place of peace and reflection. It will embody
the spirit of the man and the people he came to lead." -- Mrs. Coretta Scott King
Posted on Jan 17, 2005 at 01:07PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Kwame Brown, Currupt Already?
It usually takes a few years before politicians realize they have access to money and power and that can be
easily abused (or they just wait until they can do it without being caught). However it looks like new
Councilmember Kwame Brown started using his campaign money to enrich his friends and family even
before he got into office. The Post report is very disturbing and suggests the Kwame Brown may just be
another no good dirty politician.
Maybe we need to look into impeachment proceedings for Councilmembers, as this City cannot afford any
more corruption.
During those weeks before the general election, Capitol Solutions paid Brown's brother, Che, and
their father, Marshall, about $7,500 for their work at the end of the campaign, the brother and
father said in interviews last week. Their names do not appear on campaign finance reports for
that period because they were paid by the consulting firm and not by the election committee.
Posted on Jan 17, 2005 at 12:13PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 5 Comments
Man Found Shot Dead
A man was found fatally shot last night in the hallway of a Southeast Washington apartment
building, after a neighbor reported hearing gunfire, D.C. police said. The man, believed to be in
his twenties, was shot in the upper body about 10:30 p.m. and died at the scene, in the 2200 block
of Hartford Street, police said. He had not been identified as of early this morning. WP
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Update on Jan 18, 2005 at 07:39PM by Rollins
A man who was found fatally shot in a Southeast Washington apartment building Sunday night has been
identified as David Zephyrin, 25, of no fixed address, D.C. police said yesterday.
Zephyrin was found in the hallway of an apartment building in the 2400 block of Hartford Street SE.
Police are investigating and ask anyone with information to call 202-727-9099.
Posted on Jan 17, 2005 at 10:29AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Osama Must Be Smiling Today
Does Bush not care about Osama anymore? Has he given up? Maybe Osama was a big contributor to the
Bush campaign.
This response from the President is grossly inadequate and offensive to the American people.
The Post: Why do you think [Osama] bin Laden has not been caught?
Bush: Because he's hiding.
That is it. That is all he has to say on the subject.
Posted on Jan 16, 2005 at 07:33PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Post Opposes Gonzales
Good to see, but I don't know if it will have any sway.
Most apparently intend to vote for him anyway. At a time when nominees for the Cabinet can be
disqualified because of their failure to pay taxes on a nanny's salary, this reluctance to hold Mr.
Gonzales accountable is shameful. He does not deserve to be confirmed as attorney general.
Posted on Jan 16, 2005 at 05:02PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Blog the Inauguration
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Open Park Project, a local nonprofit, announced the provision
of a free, carrier grade hotspot for Wi-Fi service during Inauguration Week along the Pennsylvania Avenue
parade route giving the general public, event bloggers and the press on-site, high-speed access to the
Internet. DC IndyMedia
Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 01:34PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Did Homeland Security not know about the Inauguration?
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I am happy the feds are paying more for the security for the inauguration, but the source of the funds has me a
bit concerned about the abilities of the Department of Homeland Security.
Sharon Gang, spokeswoman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams, said he was notified officially
yesterday that the city will be reimbursed $12 million under the Urban Area Security Initiative
grant fund, which the Department of Homeland Security administers for security needs in the
region when unforeseen events occur.WT
Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 01:23PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Two Dead; Man shoots self in struggle with police
A 27-year-old man was fatally shot and another man was seriously wounded Wednesday night in
Southeast Washington, police said.
Frank Jones, of the 700 block of Brandywine Street SE, was found suffering from gunshot wounds
in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE about 11:45 p.m., police said.
An 18-year-old Northeast Washington man fatally shot himself during a struggle with police
Wednesday night, police said.
Officers patrolling in the area of 18th and D streets NE about 7:20 p.m. began pursuing Curtis A.
Smith, of the 1900 block of D Street NE, because he matched the description of a man believed to
be carrying a gun, police said.
Smith slipped and fell during the pursuit in the 1600 block of Isherwood Street NE and produced a
handgun, police said. During the struggle, Smith shot himself in the head with the gun, police
said. WP
Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 01:13PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
This just in: Bush learning he is a moron
"Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean," Bush said Thursday.
"'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it
clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those
words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of
danger. That certainly wasn't the case."
"I don't know if you'd call it a regret, but it certainly is a lesson that a president must be mindful
of, that the words that you sometimes say. ... I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be
mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a
confession, a regret, something." CNN
I guess this is progress. He now knows words mean something; but I don't think he will be able to grasp the
complexities behind what happens when you start unprovoked wars and try to take over other countries.
Apparently they don't make a Complete Idiot's Guide to Being American President.
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Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 10:34AM by Rollins in National Affairs | 1 Comment
Fenty in '06 - Unoffically Official
The Post reports on Fenty's mayoral 'exploratory' event and notes his slip-up about his real plans. Apparently
if it is an actual 'campaign' there are restrictions on fundraising (anyone know the logic behind that?). I don't
know how much the others have raised, or how much the race will cost, but he seems to be off to a good
"We're running for -- I mean, we're thinking about running for this position," Fenty (D) said as he
neared the conclusion of a feisty, ahem, exploratory speech before hundreds of adoring
Fenty's event drew at least 400 people to Lightfoot's home, where they jockeyed for parking spots,
nibbled chocolate cake in his colorful dining room and sipped beer and wine inside a white tent
set up on the tennis court in his back yard.
Fenty said that as many as 800 people eventually signed the guest list, contributing more than
$90,000 to his exploratory campaign.
[In the interest of full disclosure, I have interned in the Councilmember's office, and I plan to volunteer for
his campaign when it gets going.]
Posted on Jan 13, 2005 at 06:19PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Thatcher, Bush, Riggs and Mbasogo
I don't know what Mark Thather's intent was in supporting Simon Mann's attempt to overthrow the
government of Equatorial Guinea, but as this article in Mother Jones make clear, this is a govenment that
should be overthrown. EG's president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is doing what most oil rich
dictators do, and is taking all of the money for himself, his family and a small circle of friends while the
country suffers.
While Mbasgo is known to be corrupt, the Bush administration has no problem with him since he has oil.
The MJ article (but not in the online version) also gets into the information turned up in a Senate report about
how Riggs Bank helped blatantly launder millions of the money.
Equatorial Guinea exemplifies what is known as the "resource curse," the paradox by which
countries rich in oil, gas, or minerals tend to suffer rather than benefit, because the abundance of
"easy money" undermines healthy economic and political development. In Nigeria -- to cite a
classic example -- total oil revenues have topped hundreds of billions of dollars, but poverty is
worse than it was before the oil rush began more than 20 years ago; corruption is a national
sport, and the country is fissuring along ethnic lines.
Recent State Department reports define Equatorial Guinea as a nominal democracy but note that
"in practice power is exercised by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema." In the latest election,
Obiang was reelected with 97 percent of the vote in an election "marred by extensive fraud and
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intimidation." "Corruption among officials is widespread," one report adds; the distribution of oil
revenues, meanwhile, has "lacked transparency despite repeated calls from international financial
institutions and citizens for greater financial openness." And finally, "There is little evidence that
the country's oil wealth is being devoted to the public good."
Obiang has few friends. He has alienated the Spanish -- and through them the entire European
Union -- by accusing Madrid of involvement in the March 2004 coup attempt. Aside from the
Chinese, only the Bush administration seems to like Obiang. No senior administration official
has issued a public word of criticism against his regime. Instead, in June 2004, Secretary of
State Colin Powell and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham each met privately with Obiang in
Washington. When I interviewed Gabriel Nguema Lima, Obiang's son, he warmly saluted the
Bush administration: "The United States, like China, is careful not to get into internal issues."
Posted on Jan 13, 2005 at 12:17PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
So much for the home of the free and land of the brave.
Federal officials announced plans yesterday to close roughly 100 square blocks of downtown
Washington to vehicles on Inauguration Day and to restrict traffic on another 100 square blocks.
Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- the parade route -- will be closed after 6 p.m. Jan. 19 for security, as
workers remove streetlights and weld shut manhole covers, D.C. police said.
"There is no specific threat directed toward the inaugural or the inaugural activities," Ridge said.
"But the fact that . . . the decibel level is down doesn't really mean that we would ever be less
vigilant. . . . This is the most visible manifestation of our democracy."
Posted on Jan 12, 2005 at 01:39PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in NE
A 29-year-old man was killed early yesterday in a double shooting in Northeast Washington, D.C.
police said. Quinton T. Cook of the 1500 block of Kenilworth Avenue NE was found suffering from
gunshot wounds to the head and body about 1:15 a.m. in the 300 block of 53rd Street NE, police
said. He was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Anyone with information is urged to call police at 202-727-9099. WP
Posted on Jan 12, 2005 at 10:36AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Owning the Nationals?
Nader talks about the possibility of the City buying the Nationals. It seems like a good idea, but I think with
the amount we are already spending it may not fly.
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Control of the stadium and a huge chunk of the profits it generates -- concession sales, naming
rights, parking revenue -- will go to the team's yet-to-be determined owners. Those owners also
will enjoy the profits from ticket sales, merchandise and TV rights. Given the level of fan
commitment to purchase season tickets, those profits could be munificent.
A municipally or community-owned team could use these profits to cover the costs of a stadium --
including acquiring land, environmental cleanup, expanding Metro and construction.
Via City Desk
Posted on Jan 11, 2005 at 05:37PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Is this what we get for not voting for him?
The Bush administration is refusing to pay for security for the inauguration, which provides a good example
of what their priorities are. They figure they have given D.C. $240 million over the last three years for
security, so we should spend $17 million on this one event.
A look at the math suggests that when the regular people who live and work in D.C. are here, the City should
spend about $219,000 a day on homeland security. But when Bush and his money machine is in town to
party, the City needs to spend $17 million.
D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for
most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing
the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.
Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240
million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years -- money
awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.
Williams estimated that the city's costs for the inauguration will total $17.3 million, most of it
related to security. City officials said they can use an unspent $5.4 million from an annual federal
fund that reimburses the District for costs incurred because of its status as the capital. But that
leaves $11.9 million not covered, they said.
Posted on Jan 11, 2005 at 01:30PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
A 25-year-old man was fatally shot in Southeast Washington early yesterday, police said. They
discovered the body of Anthony Randolph Jr. about 3:45 a.m. in the 4300 block of Third Street
SE. Randolph, of the 1000 block of 12th Street SE, was pronounced dead at Howard University
Hospital. WP
Posted on Jan 11, 2005 at 01:07PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Fraud, waste and abuse in D.C. ...
would you expect anything less? This time Medicaid funds are being wasted on free cab rides.
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I thought Williams was going to bring an end to all of this?
In the audit, which was completed last month, the office also questioned what happened to
$44,000 in voucher payments in 2002 and 2003 because records that show how the money was
spent were missing. The office's Medicaid fraud division is probing those payments, the audit
Posted on Jan 10, 2005 at 10:10AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead
A 34-year-old man was fatally shot in Southeast Wa shington yesterday, D.C. police said.
Conrad Fox, of the 2100 block of Maryland Avenue NE, was found about 11:50 a.m. in a parking
lot in the 2400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, police said. WP
Posted on Jan 10, 2005 at 10:04AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
SE Man Shot Dead
A man was fatally shot in Southeast Washington last night, D.C. police said. Police were called
to an apartment building in the 1200 block of Eaton Road SE for a reported gunshot about 6:15
p.m. Officers found Willie Best, 39, of that address with apparent gunshot wounds to the body. He
was taken to Washington Hospital Center and pronounced dead a short time later, police said.
Posted on Jan 9, 2005 at 11:14AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Fenty to Kick off Bid for Mayor
Jonetta Rose Barras reports on Councilmember Fenty's mayoral bid kickoff event. While she notes that
Fenty did not have any challengers for his Council seat this year, I don't think that was solely based on the
money he raised. If you go to any community events in Ward 4 where Fenty is (which is most) you will see
how well liked he is. He has the ability to remember everyone's name and he takes the time to talk to
everyone who wants to speak with him. He knows what is going on in the Ward, he can talk about what
needs to be done and what he is doing about it. But beyond that he has the good looks and charm that can
win over voters.
One key to his success in this race will be his name recognition, I think he has made enough of a name for
himself citywide that most people have an idea about who he is. Of course it depends on who else gets in the
race, and what kind of campaign they can put together. But looking at the group Fenty has already put
together, he may be the man to watch.
In the 2004 council elections, Fenty scared off competition with the size of his cash bag. It looks
as if he's aiming to do the same thing in the 2006 mayoral race. Saturday, January 8 his
exploratory committee is holding a fundraiser at the home of former At-Large Councilmember
Bill Lightfoot. The event is being hosted by more than 200 people including Councilmember Jim
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Graham, D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Chairman Mark Tuohey, Marie Drissel,
Sam Brooks, and the mayor's old fundraising buddy Tom Lindenfeld. Although the law allows him
to collect more and often, it appears Fenty is following the contribution limits normally set for
actual campaign committees: The maximum donation being requested is $2,000. If his host list is
any indication, the mayoral wannabe won't have a hard time far exceeding the total amount he
raised for the last race, which was over the $300,000 mark. But At-Large Councilmember Harold
Brazil's loss provides sufficient testimony that money doesn't vote.
Posted on Jan 8, 2005 at 11:47AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
First Murder of the Year
A woman was fatally shot in a van late Thursday in Northwest Washington, D.C. police said
Laurisa Ryland, 43, of the 2100 block of Maryland Avenue NE was discovered about 11:10 p.m.
behind the wheel of a Dodge van in the 1600 block of First Street NW, police said. She suffered at
least one gunshot wound to her head and died at the scene, police said. Hers is the first slaying of
the year in the District.
Anyone with information about the slaying is urged to call police at 202-727-9099. WP
Update on Jan 16, 2005 at 08:21PM by Rollins
The Post has her story:
Laurisa Ryland battled a cocaine addiction for years and watched as some of her eight children were
adopted by families who could better raise them, friends and relatives recalled last week.
Then, five years ago, after her oldest daughter had a baby, Ryland pledged to turn her life around.
She entered a drug treatment program and shook her habit. She got a job and returned to college, taking
classes to earn a certificate to care for the mentally challenged. Finding solace in religion, she studied the
Bible intensely and regularly attended church.
Friends and relatives said Ryland's turnabout made her death -- at age 43, she became the District's first
homicide of 2005 -- especially painful. Ryland was an example to those with far more mundane problems,
they said.
"My mother went through a really difficult time," said Anitra White, 23, Ryland's eldest child. "She was using
drugs. Then, in '99, she stopped. She promised me she wanted to be a good grandmother," White said.
About 20 friends, relatives, police detectives and a prosecutor gathered Tuesday night at the dark street
corner where Ryland was slain about 11 p.m. Jan. 6.
Police said Ryland was shot while sitting in the driver's seat of her Dodge Caravan at First and Q streets
NW. The gunman fled down an alley, and Ryland died in the van.
Detectives said the killing stemmed from a domestic dispute. Friday, they arrested Ryland's boyfriend,
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Michael H. Blakeney, 31, of the 700 block of Chesapeake Street SE, when he showed up to meet with his
parole officer. Blakeney was on parole for a drug offense.
At the vigil last week, mourners huddled with photographs and candles under a light rain. Helium-filled
balloons were tied to a fence. Teddy bears were left in a small patch of mulch under a tree.
Relatives sobbed uncontrollably. Several friends did not take their eyes off the shattered glass still on the
street from Ryland's van.
"I am going to miss her a whole lot," said Crystal Burgess, 33, a close friend, after saying a short prayer.
"She will not be forgotten."
Ryland, of the 2100 block of Maryland Ave NE, was born in the District and graduated from Dunbar High
School in 1979. She attended Howard University for a short time and held odd jobs. But she slipped into a
drug habit, those who knew her said.
Over the years, several of her children were adopted by other families because Ryland was unable to control
her addiction. She told friends and relatives that she regretted losing her children, and she made a point to
remain a presence in their lives, family members said.
Friends and family members said the change that occurred after Ryland's eldest daughter had a baby was
That child, Kaprise, now 5, was among the family members at the vigil.
Pastor Stephen E. Young Sr., who led the remembrances, said he admired the way Ryland dedicated herself
to God.
Ryland was an active member of Young's church, Holy Christian Missionary Baptist Church for All People in
Northeast. She rarely missed a Sunday service, and she recently had enrolled in classes to better understand
the Bible.
Her worn Bible, which she carried everywhere, was found in her van after the slaying, friends said.
Ryland also lent a hand during major events and memorial services at the church, including one last year for
one of the District's most high-profile homicide victims -- 8-year-old Chelsea Cromartie. Chelsea was slain
in May when a stray bullet pierced a window of her aunt's home.
The killing seemed to touch something in Ryland's heart, Young said.
"She was committed," said Young, who held Ryland's youngest child, a 2-year-old girl, during the vigil. "This
just burns me down. She was trying to be a positive force for her family."
As Ryland began to redirect her life, she took a job as an aide in a home for the mentally challenged in the
District. She dreamed of opening her own home in a few years because she enjoyed the work so much, friends
She also developed a passion for the ocean, where she went every year to escape her neighborhood and
Among the photographs brought to the vigil by friends was one that showed Ryland at the beach in Ocean
City. In the photograph, she is resting comfortably on a large rock, a smile spreading across her face.
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Ryland made her first visit to the shore shortly after leaving drug treatment five years ago, family members
"She enjoyed the waters and the peace she gained," said her goddaughter, Lashawn Dews, 28. "It showed her
there was another world out there waiting for her."
By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 16, 2005; Page C05
Posted on Jan 8, 2005 at 07:49AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Fenty to revive smoking ban bill
Councilmember Fenty plans to try again to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. For an endless discussion
on the topic you can go here.
This will be the first test for Kwame Brown and Vincent Gray to see if they keep their campaign promises.
And as a side note, it is good to see Barry is now opposed to indoor smoking.
At least five council members support a ban, including new council members Kwame R. Brown,
at-large Democrat, and Vincent C. Gray, Ward 7 Democrat, who both replaced incumbents
opposed to the measure. The other new council member, Marion Barry, also replaced an
incumbent opposed to the ban. Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, said yesterday that he is "for
smoke-free 100 percent."
Update on Jan 6, 2005 at 05:52PM by Rollins
Apparently the idea of a ban is supported by most residents.
Three out of four D.C. residents likely to vote in the 2006 mayoral election favor passage of a
citywide law that would make all indoor workplaces in the District smoke-free, including
restaurant and bars, according to a poll released today by a nonprofit group advocating such a
The poll also found that 82 percent of likely voters feel the rights of customers and employees to
breathe clean air outweighs the rights of smokers to smoke inside restaurants and bars.
Seventy-eight percent of those polled said they believe restaurants would be healthier for
customers and employees if they were smoke-free and 70 percent said bars would be healthier if
they were smoke-free.
Seventy-five percent of voters polled agreed that all workers in D.C. should be protected from
exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
Posted on Jan 6, 2005 at 05:21PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Reach out and touch your Councilmember
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D.C. Watch has the updated Council contact info.
Posted on Jan 6, 2005 at 10:53AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
It's Official, D.C. Schools Suck
The DC Education Blog has a link to a new report that tells us D.C. has bad schools. While the comparison
to states instead of other cities always does us in with these types of reports, the report will give something
for the new council and school board members to chew on.
The American Legislative Exchange Council has published their 2004 Report Card on American
Education, which ranks spending and staffing and compares those numbers with student
performance on various tests. The results are not all that encouraging for the District: dead last.
While the District ranked second in per-pupil spending and in the top quartile in teacher pay and
the pupil-to-teacher ratio in each of the three academic achievement measurements the District
was at the bottom of the list.
Posted on Jan 5, 2005 at 04:30PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Is Bob Novak a Fascist?
Robert Novak's obscene comments on CNN's Crossfire should not be excused. While it is certainly
repulsive to D.C. residents, there is a lot to it, and it is not an uncommon thought among those on the Right.
The comment is completely unAmerican. There can no such thing as too much democracy. The essence of
democracy is that it is available to everyone who wants to be heard. After every election there is always
people who are not happy with the outcome, and we live with it. Many times the best candidate does not win,
and at the next election that can be resolved.
Novak's comment is similar to the Republicans dismissal of problems in Florida in 2000. The result was
what they wanted, so they were more than willing to disregard the democratic process and not get a better
vote count. The more distant history of this kind of thing in America is not pretty. The active attempts in the
South to deny blacks the ability to vote is well known. It took far too long to purge these disgraceful
practices. Even an off the cuff comment that "too much democracy is not always a good thing" is as
repulsive as those past practices.
The point Belaga was getting to, that when we have Americans dying on a nearly daily basis because we are
trying to expand democracy to other parts of the world, it is the height of hypocrisy that half a million
Americans are denied full democratic rights. Novak's response to this concern is despicable, and should not
be simply disregarded.
BEGALA: ... Washington, D.C., is, of course, the last American colony. Its citizens pay taxes. They
fight our wars and they play by the rules, but D.C. has no vote in the House and no vote in the
Senate, taxation without representation, indeed. Democrats have long supported voting rights and
statehood for the District of Columbia.
Now let's see if the Republicans support democracy for soldiers who risk their lives in President
Bush's war for Iraq.
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NOVAK: You know, Paul, I believe you live in Virginia. You don't even live in D.C. I happen to
live in D.C., pay high taxes here. I don't want the vote here. I don't want to vote for House and
Senate. I don't want the people who put in people like Marion Barry in the city council to send two
more Democrats to the Senate. In fact, I don't even like home rule.
When they had the commission form of government, this was the best-run city in America.
NOVAK: Too much democracy is not always a good thing.
BEGALA: Why can't we take the votes away from Utah, then, or Wyoming or Mississippi?
NOVAK: Because they elect good people.
Via Zoe Mitchell
Posted on Jan 3, 2005 at 05:24PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 1 Comment
'06 Jostling Picking Up
Dorothy Brizill reports on the mayoral wanna-bes.
Evans promised that he would be an advocate on a host of issues that he has not been identified
with in his past fourteen years on the council, including health care, public schools, and
after-school recreation. Adrian Fenty repeated a phrase that seemed to resonate with the
audience, that there was an opportunity for DC to become "a city which serves all the people,"
with stress on the word "all."
Other potential candidates in 2006 staked their claims by sponsoring receptions for ANC
commissioners and their guests. Michael Brown held a reception at the City Museum, while A.
Scott Bolden helped underwrite the reception that Mayor Williams held at the Convention Center.
Marion Barry held his own inaugural celebration, which he entitled the "Dawn of a New Day," at
Ballou Senior High School, and the gymnasium of the school was packed with his guests. An
indication of Barry's continuing political strength is that a number of potential mayoral
candidates attended his reception and worked the room and the crowd -- Adrian Fenty, Vincent
Orange, Michael Brown, Kwame Brown (yes, he's considering it already), and A. Scott Bolden.
Posted on Jan 3, 2005 at 10:55AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 2 Comments
King of the Waterfront
Andrew Altman will be getting paid $195,000 a year to redevelop the Anacsotia Waterfront. Not a bad gig,
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get paid a hell of a lot of money to spend a real hell of a lot of money!
Outgoing D.C. Planning Director Andrew Altman this week becomes the first chief executive of
Anacostia Waterfront Corp., shepherding an ambitious redevelopment effort that has taken on
new momentum because of plans to build a baseball stadium for the Washington Nationals.
The effort to clean the river and revitalize the neighborhoods along its banks is expected to take
more than 20 years and eventually require more than $8 billion in public and private spending.
Posted on Jan 3, 2005 at 10:25AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
What is wrong with this picture?
While business is up,
Riding a wave of increased membership that in 2004 lifted the local business organization to
become the region's largest chamber of commerce, the D.C. Chamber has announced plans to flex
its newfound muscle as the "voice of business" in the nation's capital.
unemployment is also.
The District of Columbia's unemployment rate continued to climb in November, reaching 8.7
percent, according to the D.C. Department of Employment Services. During the month, there was
a 1,400 decrease in the number of employed residents and an 800 increase in the number of
unemployed residents, officials said. The November rate is an increase of 0.3 percent from
October's jobless rate.
Posted on Jan 1, 2005 at 12:25PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Exporting Murders?
It is of course a good thing that the D.C. murder rate is down (though still way too high). But the increase in
P.G. County suggests that as the City gentrifies, a lot of people are ending up in P.G. The living conditions
that tend to breed kids who see getting an education and a real job as a waste are being re-created across the
border. Unless D.C. and P.G. County can work together to address the issues of drug, gang and sex violence,
it will only get worse in both places.
There were 198 killings in the District in 2004, down from 248 the previous year. Prince George's
County had 148 homicides, up from 128 in 2003.
D.C. police said that they determined motives in most of last year's killings and that the motives
followed familiar patterns -- 49 people were slain in arguments, 33 in acts of retaliation, 30 in
drug-related incidents and 21 during robberies.
City leaders and criminal justice specialists expressed concern about an increase in the number of
juveniles who were slain in the city last year. Twenty-four people younger than 18 were killed,
twice as many as in 2003.
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Update on Jan 1, 2005 at 12:34PM by Rollins
A 39-year-old Alexandria man was found fatally shot last night in what appeared to be the 197th
homicide in the District in the year just ended, according to D.C. police.
The man was found a few minutes before 6 p.m. in the parking lot of a supermarket in a shopping
center on Brentwood Road near Rhode Island Avenue NE, police said.
Police said the man had been shot in the head and was dead when officers found him. They said
they knew of no motive in the killing. The death came a few hours before the end of a year in
which the number of homicides in the District declined by about 20 percent, falling below 200 for
the first time in almost two decades.
Posted on Jan 1, 2005 at 11:27AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Selling Social Security
So much for being a uniter, for bringing the country together to get things done. Bush will be touring the
countryside selling his snake oil in a sales blitz that will make big tobacco jealous. If it were truly a good
plan, it would sell itself.
"It could easily be a $50 million to $100 million cost to convince people this is legislation that
needs to be enacted," Moore said. "It's going to be expensive" because "it's the most important
public policy fight in 25 years," he said.
Of course looking at who puts money into this circus will tell you who intends to benefit.
Posted on Jan 1, 2005 at 11:09AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Reject Gonzales
Daily Koz has a good look at why Alberto Gonzales should be rejected as Attorney General. It looks at the
recent torture memos and his earlier (non)clemency memos from Texas. The Times as an editorial here.
While he may have a heart-warming personal story, that does not make him qualified for the job. The memos
that have come to light portray a man with either very questionable judgement, or someone who makes
decisions based on politics instead of the law. Maybe it is from his work in private practice, but he seems to
work with the mindset that the President is his client, not the American people. As Attorney General we need
someone who can be independent of political Washington when need be, and it is doubtful Gonzalez would
be able to do that.
"One view of the law and government," Mr. Johnson said, "is that good things can actually come
out of the legal system and that there is broad benefit in the rule of law. The other is a more
cynical approach that says that lawyers are simply an instrument of policy - get me a legal opinion
that permits me to do X. Sometimes a lawyer has to say, 'You just can't do this.' " NYT
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Posted on Dec 31, 2004 at 11:42AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Another shot dead
A 22-year-old man was fatally shot in Northeast Washington yesterday morning, police said. Lee
Marshal of the 2500 block of 14th Street NE was found about 11 a.m. on that block suffering from
gunshot wounds, police said. Marshal was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he was
pronounced dead. WP
Posted on Dec 31, 2004 at 11:15AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
NOTICE: Democracy for Iraq and D.C.?
Delegate Norton is having an event with members of the military from D.C. to push for voting rights for D.C.
December 29, 2004
Washington, DC-The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she
will kick off the 2005 campaign for voting rights in the House on Monday, January 3, 2005, at noon in
Room 2203 of the Rayburn House Office Building with soldiers from the District of Columbia who served
in Iraq without a vote. The veterans have written the House Democratic and Republican Leaders asking that
the House begin by returning the vote D.C. won in the Committee of the Whole in the 103rd Congress that
was withdrawn when Republicans took control of the House. Specialists Marcus Gray, Isaac Lewis, and
Emory Kosh and other D.C. Iraq veterans also will receive recognition for their service without a vote.
Norton said that as our troops now fight for the right of the Iraqi people to vote in elections on January 30,
D.C. residents who served in the Iraq War without a vote deserve the same democracy and the public
recognition they will receive next Monday. The three veterans, two of whom are still in the reserves, were
members of the 299th Engineer Company, part of the first wave of soldiers to enter Iraq in March 2003.
Norton won the vote on the House floor in the 103rd Congress. This vote in the Committee of the Whole
allowed her to vote on most House business by rule of the House, but when Republicans assumed control of
the House, they withdrew the rule that allowed the District a vote on the House floor for the first time in the
city's history.
The Congresswoman yesterday released letters written by the three men, all graduates of the D.C. Public
Schools, requesting separate meetings with Speaker Dennis Hastert and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
concerning the return of the District's vote in the Committee of the Whole. The letters are available upon
request and at
Posted on Dec 30, 2004 at 12:26AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Give it Up
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If you have not already. Doctors Without Borders.
Posted on Dec 29, 2004 at 01:32AM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Two more dead
The homicide rate is down this year, but it ain't over yet.
Washington (AP) - The Metropolitan Police Department was investigating two separate
homicides Tuesday. The first took place just before midnight in the 300 block of Bryant Street,
Upon arrival police said they found a man suffering from a chest wound. He was taken to the
Washington Hospital Center were he later died. He's been identified as Tyrome Hilliard, 20, of
The second murder happened just after 2 a.m. in the 1,400 block of Smith Place, S.E. The victim
was taken to Howard University Hospital and pronounced dead, according to police. He's been
identified as Jaavon Smith,18, of S.E.
Police said the killings were the 194th and 195th of the year, compared with 240 this time last
Posted on Dec 29, 2004 at 12:14AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Where's the Benefits?
The Washington Times picks up on who is doing the contracting work for the renovations of RFK. A firm
from D.C.? - nope!
Posted on Dec 29, 2004 at 12:08AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
An unidentified man was fatally shot last night in the Shipley Terrace area of Southeast Washington, the D.C.
police said.
Police found the man shortly after 6 p.m. in the street in the 3400 block of 18th Street SE.
The man was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Police said the man appeared to be in his twenties.
Investigators said they had no suspects and had not determined a motive in the attack.
An 18-year-old man was shot and fatally wounded Thursday night in Southeast less than one mile away.
There was no indication last night of any connection between the deaths.
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Yesterday's killing increased the number of homicides in the city this year to at least 193. The figure is about
20 percent less than at the same time last year.
Posted on Dec 28, 2004 at 12:25AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Barry on Metro Board?
What is Cropp thinking?
Washington (AP) - City Councilman-elect and former mayor Marion Barry could soon be one of
the people steering Metro. District of Columbia Council Chair Linda Cropp will recommend that
the Ward 8 Democrat replace Councilman David Catania, I-At Large, as an alternate on the
regional board that oversees the cash-strapped transit agency.
Posted on Dec 28, 2004 at 12:22AM by Rollins | Post a Comment
D.C. Council Committee Assignments
Dorthy Brazil reports on the new D.C. Council committees.
At today's city council organizational meeting, the final committee assignments were made for the
sixteenth legislative session of the city council, 2005-2006. The highlights are that in the
upcoming session there will be ten council committees: the former committee on Health and
Human Services will be divided into two separate committees, and the two subcommittees
(Subcommittee on Public Interest and Subcommittee on Human Rights, Latino Affairs, and
Property Management) will be abolished. None of the three new councilmembers will chair a
committee, and the chairman of the Economic Development Committee will be Sharon Ambrose,
who has seniority over Vincent Orange, who lobbied heavily for the position.
The complete new committee lineup:
Consumer and Regulatory Affairs: Jim Graham (chair), Sharon Ambrose, Kwame Brown, David Catania,
Vincent Orange.
Economic Development: Sharon Ambrose (chair), Kwame Brown, Jack Evans, Vincent Gray, Vincent
Education: Kathy Patterson (chair), Marion Barry, Vincent Gray, Phil Mendelson, Carol Schwartz.
Finance and Revenue: Jack Evans (chair), Sharon Ambrose, Marion Barry, Vincent Orange, Kathy Patterson.
Government Operations: Vincent Orange (chair), Adrian Fenty, Jim Graham, Phil Mendelson, Carol
Health: David Catania (chair), Adrian Fenty, Jim Graham, Vincent Gray, Carol Schwartz.
Human Services: Adrian Fenty (chair), Marion Barry, Jack Evans, Vincent Gray, Kathy Patterson.
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Judiciary: Phil Mendelson (chair), Sharon Ambrose, Kwame Brown, David Catania, Kathy Patterson.
Public Works: Carol Schwartz (chair), Marion Barry, Kwame Brown, Adrian Fenty, Jim Graham.
The appointee to the Metro board will continue to be Jim Graham, and the appointee to the Council of
Governments will continue to be Phil Mendelson.
Posted on Dec 28, 2004 at 12:04AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
I survived USair Christmas 2004!!
While our flight from D.C. to Bangor, via Philly actually ended only in Boston (9 hours late), our return flight
was only about an hour late.
I think I need to use up my USair miles soon before the airline disappears.
Posted on Dec 27, 2004 at 11:57PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
More on Bush's Favorite Judges
American Progress has a good look at some of Scalia and Thomas' enlightened thinking.
THOMAS FAVORS STATE-SPONSORED RELIGION: Thomas has "advanced the position" that
constitutionally mandated church/state separation applies "to the federal government, but not to
individual states -- a position that would allow Virginia, for example, to declare a state religion."
He would allow individual states to "adopt particular religions and use tax money to proselytize
for them." [Elk Grove v. Newdow, 2004]
Posted on Dec 22, 2004 at 04:52PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Redevelopment in S.E.
The Post has a good video piece on the redevelopment going on around where the Stadium is going to be.
On the Anacostia waterfront in Southeast, the D.C. Housing Authority in cooperation with private
developers is in the midst of a $424 million redevelopment that will demolish the Arthur Capper
Carrollsburg projects. What will happen to the thousands who live in the project's 707 units is at
the heart of a battle between affordable housing activists and the housing authority. It's also the
inspiration for Capers, a new one-act play by D.C. resident Anu Yadav.
Posted on Dec 22, 2004 at 10:16AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Councilmembers Gone Wild!
Cheers to Loose Lips for providing this funny little exchange between Councilmembers Brazil and Graham.
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I get the feeling they won't be spending the holidays together:
"Yes, you're a good facilitator, Mr. Chairman," laughed Graham.
"Thank you, I'll teach you sometime," Brazil responded.
Graham: "Yes, I want to follow in your footsteps."
Brazil: "You should."
Graham: "Yeah, out the door!"
Brazil: "Grow up! Now wait a minute."
Graham: "Could I have my question answered, Mr. Brazil?"
Brazil: "I am the chairman of this committee. I don't particularly like that you insulted me."
Graham: "You interrupted my line of questioning."
Brazil: "You insulted the chairman!"
Graham: Harrumph!
Brazil: "If you want to get into this, it's four years of this coming from you, you know. I'm not going to sit
here and be insulted by you. Do you have that right?"
Graham: "Mr. Brazil."
Brazil: "Do you have that right? Don't insult me again."
Graham: "Mr. Brazil."
Brazil: "Do you understand me? Don't do it again."
Posted on Dec 21, 2004 at 09:44PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
New Name
As you can see, I have changed the name of this blog. This is to reflect what I plan to be more of the focus of
the site - mainly D.C. issues. But since within D.C. is also George W(hat the hell was America thinking)
Bush, the Congressional whores, and the 9 cross-dressers at 1 1st street, I will allow myself to comment on
national political and legal issues as well.
Posted on Dec 21, 2004 at 09:35PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Fenty's Very Bad Day
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Besides the baseball defeat at the City Council, Fenty has also been defeated at the District Court where his
bill to prevent the sale of 40 oz. bottles of malt liquor has been further put on hold. The judge granted a
preliminary injunction to further prevent the Ward Four 40 ban from going into effect.
Besides his reputation for good constituent services, and some economic development in the Ward, Fenty
does not of yet to have too much to run on in his hopes to move into the other side of the Wilson Building.
Posted on Dec 21, 2004 at 05:51PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Blue and Red States Don't Mix
Interstate reopens after 70-vehicle pileup; None seriously hurt in crash on Pennsylvania-Ohio
MERCER, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Authorities reopened Interstate 80 near Pennsylvania's border
with Ohio on Sunday night, hours after an estimated 70 vehicles crashed in near-whiteout
conditions. "Luckily, there were no serious injuries in this incident," said Marc Palmiter,
supervisor with the Mercer County Department of Public Safety.
Posted on Dec 20, 2004 at 11:48AM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
Thirteen Days of Baseball
The City may have only 13 days to decide if it will build the baseball stadium. The Post has a good look at
what has brought us to this point. But what you should read is Colbert King's piece on Cropp. It starts with
an email that Cropp apparently received that says a lot about (some of) those wanting baseball.
I have been generally in support of the stadium simply because I see it as progress for the City, but since I
could not really care less about baseball, I have not been passionate about it. I have come to agree with
Cropp and her "baseball, but not at any cost" line, which I do think is genuine. The biggest problem has been
the way this all came about with the Mayor giving away the farm, then expecting the Council to just go
along. As the Post piece points out, even the baseball folks were surprised at how lop-sided the deal was.
Watching the debate last Tuesday night it was surprising to see how little rebuttal there was to Catania, Fenty
and Schwartz's numerous arguments about specific problems with the deal. Even now it is hard to find
anyone who is willing to defend the deal, just people who are willing to accept it.
But now it comes down to whether baseball can accept the private financing (if they get the stadium why do
they care who builds it for them?) and allow the City more time to try to get the financing lined up. There
seems to be people interested, but I suspect since everyone will want a decent return on their investment, it
won't be easy to get all parties to agree.
Posted on Dec 19, 2004 at 12:07PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 1 Comment
Half Way Through Law School
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(you can buy this cartoon)
Posted on Dec 19, 2004 at 08:32AM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
The Money Behind Fighting Baseball
Opponents of a publicly financed baseball stadium ["No D.C. Taxes For Baseball" ] spent
roughly $50,000, trying to sway public opinion.
WTOP Radio has learned up to 20 percent of the $50,000 came from Robert Siegel, an Advisory
Neighborhood Commissioner whose business would have to move to make way for the stadium.
Siegel is a major landowner on the South Capitol stadium site, an area that Siegel calls "D.C.'s
unofficial Red Light district." He owns 11 properties, several of which house gay nightclubs. He
also owns a gay porn shop and adult theaters.
Other members of "No D.C. Taxes For Baseball" include the League of Women Voters of the
District of Columbia, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and the Statehood Green
Posted on Dec 17, 2004 at 05:31PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
'Bush Signs Intelligence Bill Into Law'
There is a joke in there somewhere - I am too busy studying to come up with right now.
Update on Dec 18, 2004 at 10:11AM by Rollins
The law makes it illegal for any one to make any references or insinuations that the president is not an
intelligent person. The President shall only be referred to as a highly intelligent, thoughtful and insightful
man. Calling him a genius or a brilliant man is permitted.
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Further, anyone discussing or making comments about the first term of this President are not permitted to say
any mistakes, blunders, mishaps, screw-ups or clearly ass-backwards decisions were made on the part of the
Violators will be declared enemy-combatants.
Posted on Dec 17, 2004 at 05:16PM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
Nationals Gear, Going, Going ...
I joked about Nationals memorablia being collectors items, but as the Post points out, it is going big on
eBay. Maybe Cropp had stocked up on it, and is now cashing in.
Posted on Dec 17, 2004 at 10:15AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
City Paper's New Service
Keeping button-down D.C., well, unbuttoned.
Wild Side is Washington City Paper's new formula for alternative personals. Whether you're
looking to be worshipped, dominated, join a BDSM group, or just looking for a one-night stand,
this is the place for you!
The Wild Side offers a wide variety of options for you to satisfy your kinky side -- and most
options are FREE! The Wild Side
Posted on Dec 16, 2004 at 05:42PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Round Two in Commuter Tax Lawsuit
I don't think I would put money on it winning, but it can't hurt to try.
The nonprofit group D.C. Appleseed joined with Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and 16 District
residents this week in renewing their legal challenge to the congressional ban on the District's
ability to impose an income tax on Virginia and Maryland commuters. The group filed papers
with the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to reverse a federal judge's decision in
March that the ban on the commuter tax was constitutional.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle agreed with the opponents that the ban's unfairness to
the city was "obvious and regrettable" and that city residents paid overly burdensome taxes
because the District was unable to tax large portions of D.C. land. But she concluded that
Congress had not violated the Constitution in exercising its power over the District.
Posted on Dec 16, 2004 at 02:36PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Bitch Set Me Up
Despite being told the deal would go though, Cropp changed her tune at the last minute. I don't know what
she asked for compared to what she got, but I have a feeling Williams may be echoing the old Mayor's
famous line these days.
On Monday night, hours before the D.C. Council was set to cast a final vote on his plan to finance
a new baseball stadium, Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp met
to work out a few last details.
"So, am I going to be happy or unhappy tomorrow?" the mayor asked Cropp when the meeting
ended. "I think you're going to be pleased," she replied.
Posted on Dec 16, 2004 at 10:55AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Bush v. Wal-Mart
Bush, with the answers to everything as usual, has let us know if we are 'worried about the trade deficit' we
just need to buy American. Maybe he should be the spokesman for Boycott Wal-Mart
Bush noted that in addition to the budget deficit, America suffers from a huge trade deficit. "That's
easy to resolve," Bush said. "People can buy more United States products if they're worried about
the trade deficit."
Bush's comments came a day after the government reported that America's trade deficit hit a
monthly record of $55.5 billion in October. CNN
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, says its inventory of stock produced in China is
expected to hit US$18 billion this year, keeping the annual growth rate of over 20 per cent
consistent over two years.
The trend is expected to continue, company officials revealed. ChinaDaily
Posted on Dec 15, 2004 at 09:38PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Can't Wait to Fly this Christmas
At least we are not as bad as the French.
New Jersey (AP) -- Baggage screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport spotted -- and
then lost -- a fake bomb planted in luggage by a supervisor during a training exercise. Despite an
hours-long search Tuesday night, the bag, containing a fake bomb complete with wires, a
detonator and a clock, made it onto an Amsterdam-bound flight. It was recovered by airport
security officials in Amsterdam when the flight landed several hours later.
Earlier this month, French authorities lost a bag containing real explosives that were being used
to train bomb-sniffing dogs. That led French authorities to prohibit using live explosives in future
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tests. CNN
Posted on Dec 15, 2004 at 06:29PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Pentagon Can't Get It Up
How much money do we have to waste on this shit? Does it not even work if it is cloudy?
The Pentagon said an interceptor missile did not take off and was automatically shut down on its
launch pad in the central Pacific. A target missile carrying a mock warhead had been fired 16
minutes earlier from Kodiak Island in Alaska.
The Pentagon is spending $10bn a year on the missile system, which was meant to be in operation
by the end of 2004. The Missile Defence Agency said an "unknown anomaly" was to blame for the
system shutting down
.... In earlier tests, target missiles have been successfully intercepted in five out of eight attempts.
Wednesday's trial had been put off four times because of bad weather at launch sites and, on
Sunday, because a radio transmitter failed. BBC
Posted on Dec 15, 2004 at 06:21PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Cropp Strikes Again
Cropp has pulled an eleventh hour (literally) fast one in the Council. This may make all that Washington
Nationals merchandise collectors items!
The D.C. Council approved legislation late last night that dramatically restructures the city's deal
with Major League Baseball to build a stadium in Washington by requiring that at least 50
percent of the cost be financed with private money. Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) shocked her
colleagues after 11 hours of debate on a stadium financing package by offering the private
financing amendment about 10 p.m. after saying she was disappointed by recent talks with Major
League Baseball.
Update on Dec 15, 2004 at 07:21PM by Rollins
MLB Responds In Kind
"The president of Major League Baseball said today that the significant changes made to the
stadium financing plan by the D.C. Council late last night are "wholly unacceptable" and said
baseball officials would cease all promotion and business activities in the city.
In a statement issued early this evening, Bob DuPay, who is also the chief operating officer for
Major League Baseball, said the council action "does not reflect the agreement we signed and
relied upon after being invited by District leaders to consider Washington as a home for Major
League Baseball. The legislation is inconsistent with our carefully negotiated agreement and is
wholly unacceptable to Major League Baseball."
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Posted on Dec 15, 2004 at 12:41PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Halliburton Stadium?
It looks like the stadium deal will get its second vote today (why does the Council have to vote twice on
everything?) So I guess the next question is who will buy the naming rights?
District officials said yesterday that they have received new promises from Major League
Baseball that improve a proposal to build a stadium with public money and will help persuade the
D.C. Council to give final approval to the legislation today.
Posted on Dec 14, 2004 at 01:41PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
The Future of the New Deal
The Times discusses the movement by the right to turn back the clock to America, circa 1920. The right
wants to return to the era where 'contract rights' gave companies the right to exploit labor, among other
things. Before the New Deal, if someone was so desperate that they would work for 16 hours a day for a few
dollars, it was the companies "right" to exploit the person that way, even if that person was say, 13 years old.
Perhaps the right looks longingly at the exploited labor overseas, and wishes we could go back to those good
old days. Of course exploited labor was not the only thing that was part of those 'good old days.' You could
pollute all you wanted, keep blacks out of your shops and schools, and if a few hundred people died because
the food you sold was contaminated, well that is all just part of business - the feds could do nothing about it.
In pre-1937 America, workers were exploited, factories were free to pollute, and old people were
generally poor when they retired. This is not an agenda the public would be likely to sign onto
today if it were debated in an election. But conservatives, who like to complain about activist
liberal judges, could achieve their anti-New Deal agenda through judicial activism on the right.
Judges could use the so-called Constitution-in-Exile to declare laws on workplace safety,
environmental protection and civil rights unconstitutional.
Posted on Dec 14, 2004 at 11:05AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Woman Shot Dead after Car Accident
"About 3:30 a.m., officers on patrol found the woman and her car about 500 yards from the
Pennsylvania Avenue exit, police said. The woman, whom police had not identified last night, had
been shot in the upper body and was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center. Police
are investigating the death as a homicide."
Police asked anyone with information about the fatal shooting or the crash to call 202-727-9099.
Posted on Dec 13, 2004 at 03:03PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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'Activist Judges' Following the Law
Safire, in his attempt to get all good red blooded (and red state) Americans upset about the lack of a journalist
privilege in federal criminal cases, has pulled out the A word. Usually people complain about so-called
activist judges when there is a court ruling that they don't like, but where the law is not clear on an issue.
Being judges, of course, they are just doing their job - deciding how the law should be applied to a certain set
of facts.
The problem with Safire's argument is that the law is clear on this issue, and the judges are just doing their
job. Really, an 'activist' judge would be one who would be trying to find loop-holes to let these journalist
off. After using the A card, Safire calls for a new federal law to protect journalists. But he knows that he
will have better luck by wailing against 'activist' judges than by trying to rally support for the 'liberal' media.
"That good sense is being swept away today by leak-happy prosecutors and activist judges. This
trend toward the jailing of journalists for protecting the free flow of news is an abuse-of-power
abomination. If higher courts can't control the plumbing fashionable below, it's up to Congress to
enact a federal shield law."
Posted on Dec 13, 2004 at 10:31AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Doctor Draft - 70 yr-old Called Back Up
I friend of mine told me a few weeks ago about a shortage of military doctors, and how places like Walter
Reed and Bethesda Medical were running low on doctors. She was seriously concerned about a doctor draft -
well that might not be too far off!!
"Dr. John Caulfield thought it had to be a mistake when the Army asked him to return to active
duty. After all, he's 70 years old and had already retired - twice. He left the Army in 1980 and
private practice two years ago.
'My first reaction was disbelief,' Caulfield said. 'It never occurred to me that they would call a
Today, Caulfield, a colonel from Satellite Beach, Fla., is an example of how the continuing
demands of keeping ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are forcing the military to go to
extraordinary measures to keep its ranks filled. He's attending to patients - U.S. troops, Afghan
soldiers and civilians - at the Army's 325th Field Hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan." Retired
Army colonel, 70, sent to Afghanistan
Via Talking Points Memo
Posted on Dec 12, 2004 at 07:09PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Post Dropped Ted Rall Cartoons
I had not noticed, but the has dropped Ted Rall's cartoons (and apparently the NY
Times already had). I like most of what he does, and while sometimes he is a bit too harsh, he tells it (or
draws it) like he sees it. But of course we don't need the Post or the Times for everything, you can always see
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the cartoons at (and once a week in the Washington City Paper).
"'That cartoon certainly drew a significant amount of negative comment from our users,' said Executive Editor Doug Feaver when contacted by E&P. But he added that
the decision to drop Rall was a 'cumulative' one that had been building for a while.'Ted Rall does
very interesting work,' Feaver said. 'Some of it is not funny to an awful lot of people. We decided
at the end of the day that it just did not fit the tone we wanted at'Rall was
dropped effective Nov. 15, according to Feaver."Infoshop News
Posted on Dec 10, 2004 at 06:58PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Man beaten to death
The D.C. medical examiner has ruled the death this week of a 43-year-old man in Southeast
Washington a homicide, police said yesterday. Darryl Lee Jefferson of the 1600 block of U Street
SE was found unconscious about 9:10 a.m. Tuesday in the 1900 block of 17th Street SE, police
said. He had suffered a head injury and died at Howard University Hospital. An autopsy revealed
that Jefferson had been beaten, police said. Police ask anyone with information to call police at
Posted on Dec 10, 2004 at 10:02AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Media Matters Must Be Doing Something Right
FOX News host Bill O'Reilly lashed out at Media Matters for America and the Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) on the December 9 Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly. He called Media Matters "the most vile,
despicable human beings in the country"; called the ADL "an extremist group that finds offense in
pretty much everything"; and labeled ADL president Abraham Foxman "a nut." Media Matters for
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Posted on Dec 9, 2004 at 09:11PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Orange in '06
Loose Lips takes a look at a recent event of "I am not a candidate" Councilmember Orange (now on video!)
He listed his accomplishments, including delivering to Ward 5 a Home Depot, Dream Nightclub, and
two--count 'em, two--National Wholesale Liquidators!
This is what an Orange administration might bring you, Ward 3!
But this seemed the biggest hurdle to the noncandidate: "Can I continue to still wear my 5--for the fifth
mayor?" asked Orange, referring to the No. 5 lapel pin that is a fixture on his suit jackets. "I've been
wearing this six years for something."Loose Lips
Posted on Dec 9, 2004 at 01:56PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Going to War, Ready or Not
Rumsfeld's answer to the soldiers in Iraq about why they are fighting without the protective equipment
needed highlights the dangerous fallacy behind the Administration's rush to invade Iraq. Certainly his answer
would be correct if we were fighting off an attack, but as is now so tragically clear, Saddam had no real
ability to attack us, or anyone else for that matter (other than his own people through torture).
The Bush team will try to blur the history of all this, but when they decided to go into Iraq there was still no
real evidence that Saddam had any WMDs. Many describe the invasion as an 'elective war,' which seems to
be fairly accurate. The problem with Rumsfeld's answer is that they chose to go into war with the army we
had, not the one we needed.
I have no idea how long it would have taken to armor all of the vehicles and produce enough body armor for
the troops. But with the inspectors in Iraq, we would have been able to buy ourselves enough time to
properly plan and prepare for an invasion. While I believe that we could have removed Saddam without
invading (once they exposed the fact that the gun he was waiving was empty), even if you think that invading
Iraq was inevitable, the only reason it was done the way it was done and when it was done, was because the
Administration chose to do it that way and at that time.
So when Rumsfeld gives a Bart Simpson 'I did not do it' answer, we need to remeber the true facts that led us
to the situation our soldiers are in now.
"Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked Rumsfeld, 'Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for
pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?'
Shouts of approval and applause arose from other soldiers who had assembled in an aircraft hangar to
see Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.'We do not have proper armored vehicles to
carry with us north,' Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.'
You go to war with the Army you have,' Rumsfeld replied, 'not the Army you might want or wish to
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Posted on Dec 9, 2004 at 12:54PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Volokh - Too Smart for Humor?
Eugene Volokh is a really smart guy ('graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in math-computer science at age
15; clerked at the Supreme Court'). But he does not seem to grasp the concept of what a joke is. Apparently,
only politicians are allowed to criticize their opponents in unfair in inapt ways.
Incidentally, people occasionally fault my criticisms of the Bushisms. "They're just a joke," they say.
Well, they are attempts at humor -- but they are attempts at humor that criticizes Bush. If you're going
to criticize someone, it seems to me that you should do it fairly and aptly. Many of the Bushisms strike
me as unfair and inapt, which is why I comment on them. The Volokh Conspiracy
Posted on Dec 8, 2004 at 08:30PM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
Progress: 'Restored Tivoli Theatre to Light Up'
While some wanted different things out of this project, the theatre has been saved, and there is begining to be
more reasons to get off at the Columbia Heights metro stop.
D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and developer Joe Horning plan to gather with residents and
community leaders at 6:30 tonight to illuminate the marquis lights of the historic Tivoli Theatre for the
first time in nearly 30 years. The theater, at 14th Street and Park Road NW in Columbia Heights, was
restored as part of a $40 million mixed-use project that eventually will include a Giant Foods
supermarket, 40 condominiums, shops, offices and performance space for the GALA Hispanic Theatre.
The theater is expected to open in January, with the supermarket and shops opening in spring.
The Tivoli closed in 1976, eight years after the 14th Street corridor was devastated by rioting after the
death of Martin Luther King Jr. It is one of several buildings and parcels being rehabilitated along 14th
Street. On Friday, the Greater Washington Urban League will open its new headquarters, in a restored
funeral home four blocks south of the Tivoli at 14th and Irving streets NW.
Posted on Dec 8, 2004 at 11:25AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Four More Years
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Posted on Dec 8, 2004 at 12:01AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
The Radical Justice Thomas
The new Democratic leader in the Senate expressed his dislike for Justice Clarence Thomas on Meet the
Press this past weekend. While Reid explained that Scalia is conservative also, at least his arguments are
intelligent, and typically respectful of precedent. The problem with Thomas, as Scalia himself has stated, is
he 'doesn't believe in stare decisis, period.'
The American Constitution Society provides a good look at some of Justice Thomas' court opinions, which
suggest a rather radical point of view. While both Scalia and Thomas are 'originalists' that does not mean
their interpretations of the Constitution are always going to be the same. Thomas is more of a 'strict
constructionist' who would not allow for any flexibility in a reading of the Constitution. Thomas appears to
be willing to reject Constitutional interpretations that have stood for hundreds of years, even though they
have been instrumental in allowing this country to grow into the economic powerhouse that it is while at the
same time has provided for civil rights and health and safety protections.
"MR. RUSSERT: Why couldn't you accept Clarence Thomas?
SEN. REID: I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions
are poorly written. I don't--I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice." The
New Republic Online
Posted on Dec 7, 2004 at 05:29PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Two Shot Dead
D.C. police are investigating the slayings of two Maryland men in Southeast Washington over the
weekend. Thomas J. Porter II, 36, and Antoine B. McNeil, 25, were found fatally shot in a car about
8:45 p.m. Saturday, police said. The men, both of Capitol Heights, were each shot in the head and
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found in the front seat of a Chevrolet Camaro in the 700 block of Chesapeake Street SE.
Posted on Dec 7, 2004 at 04:42PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Does Rumsfeld Sign the Letters?
Does Rumsfeld sign the letters they send to the families? This says a lot about this Administration and the
vast difference between the show they put on and reality.
And now, apparently, Rumsfeld's obsession with machines and their efficiency has translated into
his using one to replace his own John Hancock on KIA (killed in action) letters to parents and
spouses. Two Pentagon-based colonels, who've both insisted on anonymity to protect their
careers, have indignantly reported that the SecDef has relinquished this sacred duty to a signature
device rather than signing the sad documents himself.
Via Kos
Update on Dec 19, 2004 at 06:09PM by Rollins
Rumsfeld made the acknowledgment in a statement to military newspaper Stars and Stripes,
saying that he would begin signing such letters.
Posted on Dec 6, 2004 at 11:27AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
'06 Race Getting Underway
Orange, Cropp, Fenty, Bolden, Brown; maybe Holder, Evans, Catania and Johns. Considering the Mayor still
has not bought a house in the City, I really don't think he is serious about running. I have seen worse
"With Election Day nearly two years away, Orange is one of four contenders -- two council members
and two politically prominent lawyers -- who have formed exploratory committees to raise money in
preparation for a run against Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) if he decides to try for a third term. Five
others, including council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) and former U.S. attorney Eric H. Holder Jr.,
also are considering a race. ...
The next big event is Jan. 8, when Ward 4 council member Adrian M. Fenty's exploratory committee is
to hold its first fundraiser. Lawyers Michael A. Brown, son of former commerce secretary Ron Brown,
and A. Scott Bolden, the recently defeated D.C. Democratic Party chief, said their exploratory efforts
are not far behind. ...
Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who ran for mayor and lost to Williams in 1998, seems
reluctant to take him on again. Evans, who represents Georgetown and much of downtown, said his
role as Williams's chief ally in the baseball battle 'has been politically damaging.' ...
At-large council member David A. Catania, who this year abandoned the local Republican Party in a
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dispute over gay rights, said he will run as an independent in the general election if Williams wins the
Democratic nod. And former Verizon president Marie C. Johns said she is giving the race "serious
consideration" whether Williams runs or not." Opening Bell In Battle for Top D.C. Job
Update on Dec 6, 2004 at 02:01PM by Rollins
King on Baseball and the Race
"Schwartz, a loser in several mayoral races, has probably made her last run for the top spot. But Fenty,
Catania and Cropp now enjoy enriched political futures because they put the interest of
Washingtonians ahead of skyboxes, perks and pats on the head from the powerful. Adrian Fenty
especially warrants a closer look as a possible mayoral candidate, with or without Williams in the
race."Strike One. Strike Two.
Posted on Dec 5, 2004 at 11:08PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
GOP to Pay Democrats for Eavesdropping
I guess it is not too suprising that shit like this still goes on.
"The Republican Party of Virginia has tentatively agreed to pay Democratic lawmakers almost
$750,000 to settle a federal lawsuit stemming from a 2002 incident in which the party's former
executive director eavesdropped on a Democratic conference call, sources familiar with the case said
Posted on Dec 5, 2004 at 12:23PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
'2 Men Shot While in Car'
One man was shot to death and another critically wounded last night as they sat in an automobile
in far Southeast Washington, D.C. police said. The shootings occurred about 8:45 p.m. in the 700
block of Chesapeake Street. A man in the car's passenger seat was killed by a shot in the head,
they said. The driver was hit in the neck and taken to a hospital.
Posted on Dec 5, 2004 at 10:42AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Bob Marley Photos at the Govinda Gallery
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From taking live shots of the Exodus tour in 1977 and the Kaya album cover, to recording candid and personal
moments offstage, Kate Simon had unique access to the Wailers up until Bob Marley's death in 1981. During that
time, she created a visual archive of extraordinary depth and quality, documenting the life of one of the most
influential musical artists of all time. Govinda Gallery
Posted on Dec 4, 2004 at 05:10PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Grumpy Old Man
Next time maybe he should just count to ten, it might have saved him $23,000.
Plea in bomb threat: A 70-year-old Capitol Hill resident pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal charge
stemming from an incident last summer in which he shouted out a bomb threat after passing a security
Francis G. Dunphy was driving his son to Union Station on Aug. 19 when he became agitated about the
security checkpoints on Capitol Hill, prosecutors said. Authorities said he was near the U.S. Supreme
Court when he yelled something about his son planning to blow up a train bound for Fredericksburg.
The threat led Amtrak officials to search the train Dunphy's son was boarding for explosives.
Dunphy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of making a false report to use a weapon of
mass destruction. He agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and an additional $13,328 to Amtrak for restitution.
He is to be sentenced March 18.
Posted on Dec 3, 2004 at 11:38AM by Rollins in Humour | Post a Comment
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Safire Going Out on Low Note
William Safire, who is ending his column at the end of January, seems to be reading too many righty blogs.
He has picked up the idea that anyone who did not vote for Bush does not want freedom in the middle east, as
if it was all that simple. I don't recall any part of the Kerry campaign being to bring oppression to the middle
east. Many of those who opposed the war in Iraq did so because they believe that bringing peace and
freedom through death and war is a folly. I voted for Kerry because his position from the beginning was that
there was a better way to get rid of Saddam than through war. He also realized that the fight against terrorism
cannot be won by fighting a conventional war.
Of course most Americans support freedom in the Middle East. Many of us also believe in freedom
throughout the world, not only in places where there is a strategic financial interest at stake. For Mr. Safire to
suggest otherwise is well below his usual thoughtful writing.
"So far, voters who support implanting freedom in the Middle East have won three in a row, electing
President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, the American ally John Howard in Australia, and George Bush
here." The Fourth Election
Update on Dec 3, 2004 at 12:08PM by Rollins
As a side note, I don't think Austalia's 920 troops in Iraq was the deciding factor in the election down under.
Posted on Dec 3, 2004 at 12:00AM by Rollins in National Affairs | 2 Comments
Alabama Goddamn
Maybe it is something in the water.
"MONTGOMERY - An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels
with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries. ..
"Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle," Allen said in a press conference
Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest
homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.
"I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them," he said. Gay book ban goal of state
Mississippi Goddamn, by Nina Simone:
The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it
Alabama's got me so upset
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Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
Alabama's got me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
Can't you see it can't you feel it
It's all in the air
I can't stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer
Alabama's got me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
This is a show tune
But the show hasn't been written for it yet
Hound dogs on my trail
Schoolchildren sitting in jail
Black cat crossed my path
I think every day's gonna be my last
Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We're all gonna get it in due time
I don't belong here I don't belong there
I've even stopped believing in prayer
Don't tell me I tell you
Me and my people just about do
I've been there so I know
Keep on saying go slow
But that's just the trouble too slow
Washing the windows too slow
Picking the cotton too slow
You're just plain rotten too slow
Too damn lazy too slow
Thinking's crazy too slow
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know I don't know
Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
Cos everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
I bet you thought
I was kidding didn't you
Picket lines school boycots
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They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
For my sister my brother my people and me
Yes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you'd stop calling me Sister Sady
Oh but this whole country is full of lies
You're all gonna die and die like flies
I don't trust you anymore
You keep on saying go slow go slow
But that's just the trouble too slow
Desegregation too slow
Mass participation too slow
Unification too slow
Do things gradually too slow
Will bring more tragedy too slow
Why don't you see it why don't you feel it
I don't know I don't know
You don't have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
And everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam
That's it
L'hommage: Nina Simone
Posted on Dec 1, 2004 at 04:03PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Happy Anniversary Rosa Parks
In her day, I am sure many said she should have just given up her seat. Today, many say gays should not
push for marriage .
"On the evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, an African American, was arrested for disobeying
an Alabama law requiring black passengers to relinquish seats to white passengers when the bus was
full. Blacks were also required to sit at the back of the bus. Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the
Montgomery bus system and led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public
transportation." Today in History: December 1
Via ACSblog
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Posted on Dec 1, 2004 at 03:57PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
World AIDS Day
Washington, D.C. has the one of the highest (if not the highest) rates of AIDS in the United States. It is
estimated one in 20 adults have the disease.
AIDS.ORG: Educating - Raising HIV Awareness - Building Community
Posted on Dec 1, 2004 at 10:21AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
'Three shot'
"Three females in a sport-utility vehicle were shot early yesterday in Northeast Washington, apparently
hit by bullets fired from another SUV.Shots apparently were fired into a Chevrolet Blazer at Seventh
and Franklin streets about 3:30 a.m., said Hilton Burton, commander of the 4th Police District.A
21-year-old woman was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the leg and another 21-year-old and a
17-year-old were treated for wounds to their arms.Police are trying to determine whether the shooting
was linked to an argument earlier that evening at the Aqua nightclub in the 1800 block of New York
Avenue NE, Burton said." (
Posted on Dec 1, 2004 at 10:03AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Play Ball!!
"At the end of a seven-hour meeting, before a standing-room-only crowd that at times included
Williams (D), the council voted 6 to 4, with three members abstaining, in favor of building the stadium
along the Anacostia River near the Navy Yard and South Capitol Street." Council Narrowly Approves
Williams's Plan (
Update on Dec 1, 2004 at 12:09PM by Rollins
Here are two sides on this:
Pro - Con
Posted on Nov 30, 2004 at 06:22PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 1 Comment
Cropp in '06
Cropp apparently does not want to be considered to be "the one who took away baseball in D.C."
"The delayed decision on a planned $440 million baseball stadium to house the Washington Nationals
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appeared close to the necessary seven votes Monday, with District of Columbia Council Chair Linda W.
Cropp pledging not to stand in the way." NewsChannel 8
Posted on Nov 29, 2004 at 09:22PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Andrew Sullivan, Team America and Humble Pie
The conventional wisdom going into the final stretch of the 2004 campaign was that the undecideds would
break for Kerry. History tells us that midterm elections are more about the incumbent than the challenger.
Typically midterm elections are landslides, one way or the other - either the incumbent is so bad, everyone
wants him out, or he has done so well, no one can beat him. Of course, as the Red Sox will tell you, history
does not always predict the future (I thought that was a bad omen).
While Bush's popularity was at about 50%, Kerry could not pull off enough people to win. While Kerry
himself was an important factor in that, part of the problem seems to be not just Kerry, but what too many
people see when they look to the Democratic Party. The right has done a good job of painting the left as
weak-kneed, big government loving, unpatriotic, pretentious snobs. While most of that is bullshit, it is
something the left needs to accept and deal with. I don't buy everything Andrew Sullivan talks about, the
Democrats are no longer the party of the regular guy who wants to get ahead, but plays fair.
"This is what the left has lost sight of. Americans tend to believe that talent needs no apology; that
action is often better than complaint; that their own country, despite its many faults, is still a force for
great good in the world. The left tends to view things a little differently. The most shocking
manifestation was the way in which the far left saw 9/11 as an indictment of America, rather than of
Jihadist nihilism. A more anodyne version was the way in which the Kerry campaign tried to reassure
Americans of Kerry's commitment to national defense by playing up his Vietnam record, rather than
unleashing him to rage against the evil of terror. The legitimate criticisms of the Iraq war seemed at
times to emanate from a welter of whining, rather than from a determined attempt to win in Iraq, and
from righteous, well-deserved anger that Bush had botched it. Facing a world of unprecedented danger,
the Democrats still offered little in the way of a constructive message about what they would do
proactively to defeat the enemy. For all his faults, Bush did."
Posted on Nov 24, 2004 at 10:21PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
The '06 Runners?
Sam Smith's list of who might run for mayor. He does not provide how he came up with these names.
Linda W. Cropp
Adrian M. Fenty
Vincent B. Orange Sr
Harold P. Brazil
David A. Catania
Jack Evans
A. Scott Bolden
Eric H. Holder Jr
Marie C. Johns.
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Posted on Nov 24, 2004 at 01:50PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
D.C.: the 2nd Most Dangerous City - 500K+
"The rankings look at the rate for six crime categories: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault,
burglary and auto theft. It compares 350 cities with populations of 75,000 or more that reported crime
data to the FBI. Final 2003 statistics, released by the FBI in October, were used to determine the
rankings." MSNBC
Cities of 500,000 or more (32 cities)
1. San Jose, CA 1. Detroit, MI
2. El Paso, TX 2. Washington, DC
3. Honolulu, HI 3. Baltimore, MD
4. Austin, TX 4. Memphis, TN
5. New York, NY 5. Dallas, TX
6. Louisville, KY 6. Philadelphia, PA
7. San Diego, CA 7. Columbus, OH
8. San Antonio, TX 8. Nashville, TN
9. San Francisco, CA 9. Houston, TX
10. Fort Worth, TX 10. Phoenix, AZ
Posted on Nov 22, 2004 at 10:47PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Amendment 28?
I have no problem with amending the Constitution to allow naturalized citizens to run for the Presidency.
However, Safire's comment that Article II "makes all naturalized citizens - including taxpayers, voters,
servicemembers - slightly less than all-American" is far more applicable to the situation of residents of the
District of Columbia. While I don't know if amending the Constitution is necessary to allow the District to
have two senators and a representative, the lack of voting representation has a far greater and more direct
impact on District residents than just denying naturalized Americans the right to run for President.
Among the things this country stands for, certainly the ability to get ahead (and theoretically to get all the
way to the White House) is one. But far more important is the fundamental aspect of democracy that the
government is elected by, and is accountable to the people. If there needs to be a constitutional amendment
to provide full representation to the District, then that should come before amending Article II.
"Article II of the Constitution directed that in the future only 'natural born' citizens would be eligible
for the nation's highest office. There may have been reason for suspicion of the foreign-born as the
nation was in formation, but that nativist bias has no place in a nation proud of its 'golden door.'" The
28th Amendment
Posted on Nov 22, 2004 at 03:48PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Can't give up the Pork
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While the spending bill was one of the most austere in years, it had something for virtually every
lawmaker, including mountains of home-district projects. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a bipartisan
group favoring less federal spending, said it found 11,772 projects worth $15.8 billion.
"The projects included:
$335,000 to protect sunflowers in North Dakota from blackbird damage.
$60 million for a new courthouse in Las Cruces, N.M.
$225,000 to study catfish genomes at Alabama's Auburn University.
$2 million for the government to try buying back the former presidential yacht Sequoia, which was sold
three decades ago. Its current owners say the yacht is assessed at $9.8 million." Congress passes
spending measure
Posted on Nov 21, 2004 at 10:09PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
#1 on Google
I was pleasantly surprised to find my post on Michael Lorusso the top listing on Google for the search of
'Big Fat Loser'. So know besides his time in jail, he gets this honor. Congratulations Mr. Lorusso - you are
Google's number one big fat loser!!!
Update on Nov 21, 2004 at 10:05PM by Rollins
Easy Come, Easy Go
He is now #2
Posted on Nov 21, 2004 at 01:31PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Caffeinated Beer
At least now the drunk drivers won't be falling asleep at the wheel. This is of course spurred on by the Red
Bull craze which tends to extend ones night out drinking well beyond the point your body usually tells you to
go home.
"As the industry leader, Anheuser-Busch is the first major brewer to infuse beer with caffeine, guarana
and ginseng. Well balanced with select hops and aromas of blackberry, raspberry and cherry, BE will
offer a lightly sweet and tart taste - a great mixture of beer and new flavors for adults to enjoy when out
with friends at a club or at a bar after work with colleagues." Anheuser-Buschs B to E Takes Beer to
a New Level
Posted on Nov 21, 2004 at 12:04AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
'Brand Democrat'
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See more here.
Posted on Nov 20, 2004 at 01:32PM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Evans, et al. in '06
Loose Lips breaks down the potential mayoral candidate field. Jack Evans, who has been upfront about his
plans to run, made a not-so-cryptic jab at Councilmember Fenty last week. But he also said his support for
baseball might doom his plans for running.
"In other words, the crack of the bat has been an opening day of sorts for the 2006 mayor's race. And
baseball has given mayoral wannabes the chance to take a few big swings at potential rivals. 'There are
colleagues of mine....who sit in the corner and play with their BlackBerrys and don't participate at all,'
swiped Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, last Friday on WAMU's D.C. Politics Hour With Kojo
and Jonetta, referring to at least one ballpark opponent on the council. 'Is that who you want to run
your city?'"
"I think that [baseball]....has done me enormous political harm. I'm not unaware of that," [Evans] told
public-radio listeners. "If this means I now cannot run for mayor--which is a very likely scenario given
what's happened here--then so be it."
Posted on Nov 19, 2004 at 12:14PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Long Live the Constitution
Supreme Court Justice Scalia makes it known he prefers a textualist / originalist methodology in interpreting
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the Constitution. But his recent comments suggests he does not believe the question is even debatable.
Shouldn't a Supreme Court Justice be more open minded? Or does he speak with the dead founders of this
country to know what their intent was? Considering that the founders who wrote the Constitutions were
possibly some of the most visionary people in history, isn't it a bit presumptuous, if a not arrogant, to claim
you know exactly what they had in mind?
"Scalia, 68, also talked about originalism, explaining the concept of adhering to the original meaning
of the Constitution. 'In the last 40 years, ... we've become fond of the phrase that we have a living
document,' Scalia said. 'But if something is wrong, then change the law or change the Constitution, but
don't reinterpret the Constitution.' He said proponents of the living document concept and flexibility
regarding the Constitution are 'dead wrong.'" Blunt-speaking Scalia draws protests at U-M
Via ACSBlog
Posted on Nov 18, 2004 at 10:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Do They Know What Liberty Means?
For a group calling themselves the "Liberty Legal Institute" this seems to be an odd action.
"Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute issued a news release Tuesday reporting that it 'came to the aid of
a concerned parent' over an 'official cross-dressing day' in the school district 150 miles northeast of
Houston.'It is outrageous that a school in a small town in east Texas would encourage their 4-year-olds
to be cross-dressers,' Liberty Legal Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said in the release" AP - U.S.
Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of liberty:
1 : the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases b : freedom from physical
restraint c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d : the positive enjoyment of various social,
political, or economic rights and privileges e : the power of choice
2 a : a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant : PRIVILEGE b : permission especially to
go freely within specified limits
3 : an action going beyond normal limits: as a : a breach of etiquette or propriety : FAMILIARITY b :
RISK, CHANCE c : a violation of rules or a deviation from
standard practice d : a distortion of fact
4 : a short authorized absence from naval duty usually for less than 48 hours
synonym see FREEDOM
This brings to mind another word:
1 : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of
an appearance of virtue or religion
2 : an act or instance of hypocrisy
Posted on Nov 18, 2004 at 06:34PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Gun Rights in D.C.
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While I have argued that the typical incidents of gun violence in D.C. are not the type the Republicans hoped
to prevent with their "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act," if they were earnest about protecting
people (and not just being NRA stooges), then maybe they should try something like this:
"Chicago and several of its suburbs ban the possession of handguns. A new law in Illinois prevents the
conviction of a person for violating the handgun ban, if the person used the handgun for lawful
self-defense on his property. The new law (720 ILCS 5/24-10) states:
It is an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibits, regulates, or
restricts the private ownership of firearms if the individual who is charged with the violation used
the firearm in an act of self-defense or defense of another as defined in Sections 7-1 and 7-2 of
this Code when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed place of business."
This would address one of the strongest points that critics of D.C.'s strict gun laws have. The Illinois law
only applies to gun use a person's own property, so it would not provide a defense if you used a gun to fight
off an attacker out on the street.
And as an aside, I don't mean to encourage Congress to impose any laws on D.C.
Posted on Nov 17, 2004 at 04:41PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Should we know who they are?
It is easy to just call the Iraqis fighting us as the ?enemy' because they are opposing the democracy and
liberty we want to bring them. The terrorists who take hostages and later kill these innocent people deserve
no respect. I don't mean to give them any respect, and I don't support them for an instance.
But should we try to understand what motivates them? There are probably many different motivating factors
for these people, but if people are willing to die for a cause, don't we need to understand what that is? Many
of these people fighting against our military forces know that they are not going to win, but if they are willing
to be die for their cause, should we not know why they are willing to die? If they are just being martyrs Islam,
then are they just fighting a religious war?
America got into this war because we thought Saddam had WMDs, and so we wanted to protect ourselves
from being hit with those. But we are in an entirely different war now. I don't know who we are fighting. I
don't doubt we can kill off most of them, but is that what we got into Iraq for?
We must fight, and we must win. But who are we fighting now, and why are they fighting us? The
American people should know what our fellow Americans are dying for.
Posted on Nov 17, 2004 at 12:06AM by Rollins | Post a Comment
Trouble at the United Nations
There is continuing to be troubling news from the UN about the oil-for-food program. Attempts to look into
the possibility of massive fraud are being hampered by the Secretary General himself.
"Today witnesses from Treasury and C.I.A., as well as its own investigators, will present evidence that
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the huge rip-off engineered by Saddam Hussein - with the connivance of corrupt U.N. officials and
companies protected by Security Council members like Russia and France - was even greater than the
$10 billion figure estimated by our G.A.O. Going back to 1991 and including the predecessor to
oil-for-food, an outside source tells me that the U.N.-maladministered profiteering reached $23 billion.
Such heavy spending affects U.N. votes. " U.N. Obstructs Justice
Posted on Nov 15, 2004 at 11:27AM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Wedding Guest Shot Dead
"Wedding guests leaving a reception at a monastery in Northeast Washington were attacked Saturday
night by robbers who beat three of them with a pistol and then shot a fourth to death, D.C. police said.
The man, 57, was shot once in the chest near 14th and Quincy streets shortly before 11 p.m., police
said. He had just given his money to an armed assailant and an accomplice, said Capt. C.V. Morris,
head of the violent crimes unit. "
Posted on Nov 15, 2004 at 11:13AM by Rollins | Post a Comment
D.C. United Game at 3:30
Like a true fair weather fan, I have not followed D.C. United since their dominance in the begining of the
league. But they are in the championships again - today! I am stuck in the library, but will monitor the game
"CARSON, California (Ticker) -- Two past champions square off when D.C. United and the Kansas
City Wizards meet in the ninth MLS Cup final at the Home Depot Center on Sunday. United, who won
three of the first four league titles, will be competing for the championship for the first time since 1999.
They are the only team in the league's nine-year history to win three MLS Cups."
Update on Nov 14, 2004 at 09:51PM by Rollins
Posted on Nov 14, 2004 at 02:23PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Cab Driver Murdered
"Andrew B. Kamara drove a taxicab for nearly a decade but gave up his job three months ago to
concentrate on fixing and reselling cars, his passion. But the 50-year-old father of six returned to his
old trade last week to earn extra cash so he could visit his mother and other relatives in Sierra Leone.
Early yesterday, D.C. police found Kamara fatally shot in the front seat of his taxi in Northwest
Washington." One Week Back on Job, Cabdriver Slain in D.C.
Posted on Nov 13, 2004 at 06:02PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Living Apart
Courtland Milloy discusses professor Sheryll Cashin' s look at the racial and class divide in the D.C. region. I
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think this accounts for part of the reason Bush does so well in the suburbs ... why rock the boat when things
are going so well for you.
"A bigger cost of racial separation, though, is not measured in dollars. It's self-deception -- believing
that the American dream is real and that all anybody has to do is work hard and play by the rules to get
ahead. And worse, being able to deny the suffering of others because one need not acknowledge what
one cannot see." The High Price Of Not Learning To Live Together
Via In Shaw
Posted on Nov 12, 2004 at 11:19PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Fighting for Fourties
As I noted earlier, the D.C. Council passed a law to impose a five year moratorium on the sale of single
containers of beer or wine under 70 ounces (primarily targeted at 40 oz. bottles of malt liquor). The ban was
to go into effect today, but apparently someone is making a federal case out of it (literally), and have gotten a
stay on it.
This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Collyer issued a temporary restraining order preventing the District
from enforcing the ban, citing concerns over whether the bill had received two readings in the Council.
Judge Collyer has scheduled a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction for Wednesday,
November 17. The Council's Office of the General Counsel will appear at that hearing to offer the court
an explanation of the legislative process. I will provide updates as more information becomes
Update on Nov 13, 2004 at 06:11PM by Rollins
"U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled that two stores in Ward 4 that are seeking to repeal the
ban have a high likelihood of winning their case. They argue that the ban would discriminate against
certain stores in one part of the city and violate the merchants' constitutional rights. The judge found
that Ward 4 stores selling alcohol could suffer irreparable financial harm if she didn't temporarily halt
the ban, which called for stores to clear their shelves of single bottles of beer by midnight last night."
Judge Delays Curb On D.C. Beer Sales (
Posted on Nov 12, 2004 at 07:49PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Christian Right Looking For Dominance
The Christian Right wants the Republican party to answer to them only. Apparently only Evangelican
Christian Republicans are good Republicans - the rest can go to hell!
"'If the GOP wants to expand and govern effectively, it can't play both sides of the fence anymore. It
needs a coherent message, which came through loud and clear in the election.' Matthew Staver, who
heads the conservative, Florida-based legal group Liberty Counsel, said political parties tended to 'take
for granted those people who put them into office, especially religious or moral conservatives. ''We
want to make sure that doesn't happen this time,' he said.
The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, said that if Republican
leaders in Congress allowed Specter to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, their
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political futures could be at risk. He said a Specter chairmanship could be an 'albatross' for Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, a potential presidential contender.
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the nation's most prominent evangelists, is so concerned about
harnessing the movement's power within the GOP and national politics that this week he formed the
Faith and Values Coalition, which, as he put it, aimed to be a '21st century version of the Moral
Majority. 'The group will seek to register millions of additional evangelical voters, starting in January,
to ensure that supporters of abortion rights, such as former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani,
or backers of gay rights, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, don't win the GOP presidential
nomination and that Republicans retain the White House in 2008." Evangelicals Want Faith
Posted on Nov 12, 2004 at 10:16AM by Rollins in National Affairs | 1 Comment
Fenty in '06 - Officially Unofficial
Loose Lips has the scoop:
On Oct. 26, he strode up 17th Street NW as grand marshal of the High Heel Race, a Halloween
highlight. On Oct. 28, he spoke about how the citizens of this city don't support public financing of a
new baseball stadium. On Nov. 2, he campaigned for his Ward 4 D.C. Council seat.
Will Adrian M. Fenty finally admit he's running for mayor?
For weeks now, as speculation has grown about his executive-office ambitions, Fenty has responded
that he remains focused on "Nov. 2." Now that he's won, and it's beyond Nov. 2, that excuse no longer
And he knows it. "I am beginning to think about running for mayor," admits Fenty.
Posted on Nov 11, 2004 at 10:30PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Bob Jones Congratulates Bush
Bob Jones' letter congratulating Bush provides a good look at the far Right where much of Bush's base is.
It is easy to rejoice today, because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another
presidential term. Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and
exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm
regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited
government. You have four years--a brief time only--to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this
nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God. Letter from Dr. Bob Jones III
Via TalkLeft
Posted on Nov 11, 2004 at 12:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
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Notice: Artomatic Opening Night
Artomatic, Washington's favorite art, music, theater, poetry, dance, and film extravaganza will open
November 12th! We start at 7:00 PM and go until 1:00 AM.
Come as your favorite Artist.
Come as a piece of Art.
Come as you are... just come!
Come to Artomatic 2004's Opening Party and go art wild. Hit the door, grab something to drink, plunge
into the best arts party D.C.'s seen since the last Artomatic opening. Drench yourself in art in this open
showcase for regional arts. The thousands of works, hundreds of performances, and dozens of
educational presentations and discussions, make Artomatic DC's most exciting, unpredictable arts
WHAT: Artomatic 2004 Opening Night Party
WHEN: Friday, November 12th, 7PM-1AM
WHERE: 800 3rd St. NE -- corner of 3rd and H St., NE. (Use of metro is encouraged. Access from
Union Station on the red line or take the X-2 Metro Bus. Limited Parking available.)"
Posted on Nov 11, 2004 at 12:11PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Veterans Day Salute
Thank you to all who have bravely served for this Country. May we live up to the ideals you fought for.
Posted on Nov 11, 2004 at 10:45AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
When the Left does the Right's Talking
Apparently Marty Peretz of the New Republic has been listening to Rush Limbaugh a bit too much. He has
apparently swallowed the stereotype of Democrats the Right has been spewing.
"But the problem is that many Democrats have a downright hostile attitude to the flag, to patriotism
itself, which is thought by some in the party to be a retrograde sentiment. And they have, at best, a
queasy disposition towards religion. To tell the truth, it gives many of them the creeps. You can't really
do much with that, can you?" - Good Riddance
Posted on Nov 10, 2004 at 05:47PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Lesbian Sheriff in Texas!
In another sign that all was not lost last Tuesday, the good people of Dallas County, Texas elected a
Democrat as their next sheriff.
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"Lupe Valdez is a woman, a Hispanic, a Democrat and a lesbian -- and, come Jan. 1, she's entering the
ranks of Texas good ol' boys. Valdez is becoming Sheriff Lupe."
Posted on Nov 10, 2004 at 11:02AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Two Shot Dead
A Maryland man was fatally shot early yesterday in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said. Winston
E. Washington, 27, was found suffering from several gunshot wounds to the head about 12:55 a.m. in a
parking lot in the 600 block of 46th Place SE, police said. Washington, of the 13000 block of Larchdale
Road in Laurel, died at the scene.
Pili Barker, 21, of the 1400 block of Webster Street NW, was identified by police as the man who was
found fatally shot early Monday in Southeast Washington. Police responding to a reported shooting
found Barker in the 1600 block of W Street SE about 1:45 a.m.
Anyone with information is urged to call investigators at 202-727-9099.
Posted on Nov 10, 2004 at 10:54AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Big Fat Loser
Michael Lorusso was the deputy director of the D.C. Office of Property Management from 2000 - 2003. In
return for little more than a watch, a TV, the use of a car and a trip to Florida, he was willing to rip off the
citizens of D.C. Now he gets to spend (hopefully) a few years in jail.
The actions involving Villegas's firm included awarding more than $8 million in construction contracts,
or "task orders," to IBI, often without competitive bidding; excusing IBI from performing substantial
portions of the contract but without reducing the payments IBI received; exercising lax oversight on
IBI's work; and helping the firm bill and receive payment for work that was never completed. Lorusso
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also conspired with Villegas to steer a lucrative city contract for furniture to another Villegas company.
The D.C. contracts resulted in more than $2 million in profits for Villegas and his company, according
to court documents.
In return, prosecutors said, Lorusso received part ownership in the furniture company; a $3,000
Cartier watch; a $6,000 plasma TV; airfare and a hotel room for a trip to Florida; $25,000 to help pay
a personal debt; and use of a BMW sport-utility vehicle leased for $843 a month and Villegas's 1999
Mercedes-Benz. IBI funds also paid more than $200,000 in moving costs to a company owned by an
associate of Lorusso, though no moving services were provided, prosecutors said in court papers.
Posted on Nov 10, 2004 at 10:41AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
20 yr-old shot dead
"D.C. police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man who was found shot early yesterday along
a Southwest Washington street. Officers were called to the 1400 block of First Street about 4:20 a.m. to
investigate a shooting, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman. When police arrived, they found
Colby Mercer with multiple gunshot wounds. Mercer, of the 300 block of P Street SW, died at the scene,
police said. Police reported no arrests."
Posted on Nov 8, 2004 at 04:19PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | 1 Comment
Cropp in '06
Baseball's supporters are not very happy with Council Chair Cropp (to put it mildly) and are out in full force
to attack her. They do have a good argument that she was is support of it, but has now pulled her support. I
don't know the specifics of the MLB deal, but it seems like it is either Williams' way, or no baseball, period.
So any support for the 'alternate' plan for a stadium site is really a no-vote to baseball. Fenty, and now Cropp,
seem to be trying to have it both ways, by saying they 'support' baseball, but just not the Mayor's plan. But to
quote Loose Lips, that may be "bullshit," and they know it. Right or wrong, the Mayor made a deal that is all
or nothing.
The Mayor thought he had this in the bag, so he did not push it much at all (spending 11 days traveling in the
Far East, for example). He needed to make the argument that Baseball is an investment for the City that will
pay off in the long run. While it may be a risky investment, people might support it if they were to see it that
way. But Cropp seems to now believe that there are more electoral votes in the City that have not been sold
on Williams' plan. If Cropp ends up killing baseball, Williams' failure to finish the job will be his own fault.
"Cropp, according to two close friends who spoke with her at length about her decision, felt that if she
was going to be a realistic contender for mayor, she had to move now to align herself with the
anti-stadium feeling in town. And if that meant losing the Expos entirely, so be it."
The outsiders gearing up for a mayoral run -- the recently ousted chairman of the D.C. Democratic
Party, Scott Bolden, and boxing commissioner Michael Brown -- were letting it be known that they
relished the chance to campaign against anyone who supported Williams's pricey stadium giveaway.
Cropp's Stadium Bombshell Reeks of Mayoral Ambition
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"Now, after issuing her 'new proposal' yesterday, it turns out that she is pretty much a complete fraud.
While Williams is standing steadfast in the face of some predictable opposition, Cropp has turned her
back on the very deal to which she gave her word. As a result, baseball in D.C. is in jeopardy." D.C.
Baseball in Foul Territory
Posted on Nov 6, 2004 at 01:10PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Worth Reading
While I don't completely buy his argument, Brooks' piece is worth reading as we on the Left begin to regroup.
"Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the
story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure
liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them." The Values-Vote Myth
Posted on Nov 6, 2004 at 12:03PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Clinton, Dean or Edwards?
Since Terry McAuliffe must go, who will be the next leader of the DNC? This is a really important question,
as we need leadership to help the Dems get their message out. We do need to make changes, but I don't think
we really need to move to the left or to the right. Here is one who says Clinton should get the job and one
who says Dean. I have not seen one yet for Edwards, but he is out of a job and is smooth talker (but
seriously, he is also a great fund raiser and 'plays well' in the South). Of course with his wife now dealing
with breast cancer, he may not be available until that gets taken care of.
Posted on Nov 5, 2004 at 11:16PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Cropp Throws a Curve Ball (Corrected)
Council Chair Cropp has pulled her support out from under Williams legs about the baseball stadium, and he
is not happy about it. This is about the most excited I think I have ever seen Williams get. Of course
Williams argument is a bit stupid because he never exactly got approval from the Council for the massive
agreement he made (though the Post does indicate that Cropp and Evans were involved in the discussions).
[DELETED - I read the Post article as saying she wanted the stadium at Reservation 13, but she is talking
about RFK]
D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp today proposed a plan that would significantly alter a deal to
bring Major League Baseball to Washington by changing both the site of a new stadium and the cost of
the controversial project.
"The dream of having baseball back in Washington is at risk," said an animated Williams at a press
conference shortly after Cropp's. "It is in jeopardy. I can't emphasize that enough, so I am trying to
raise the volume. We have waited 10, 20, 30 years for this and now it is in jeopardy."
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"If I make a commitment, I will live up to it," Williams said. "This is a horrible message we are sending
to the business community and our citizens that if I make a commitment that as soon as things get
rough, we're not going to do it."
Posted on Nov 5, 2004 at 06:41PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
The Left Coaster Gets It
"Right is the Wrong Answer"
I have been a Democrat because it has been the one national party that consistently comes closest to
promoting social justice, racial and gender equality, environmental protection, civil liberties, economic
fairness, corporate accountability, and an internationist foreign policy. I'm prepared to see the party
improve the way it markets that agenda to the middle class, if that's what it takes to capture at least two
percent more of the popular vote and, if there really is a god, a great deal more. If this means learning
how to give voice to apt Biblical verses as convincingly as the bad guys do, and publicly speaking in
terms of 'personal values' as well as policy, then so be it. - The Left Coaster
Posted on Nov 5, 2004 at 12:22AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
This is America
The usual map does not show people but large area of 'red' empty land.
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Update on Nov 6, 2004 at 11:24AM by Rollins
Here is another version. And if you want even more maps, see here
And a couple more from the NY Times:
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Posted on Nov 4, 2004 at 11:20PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Terrorist Regime
Let's stop this one also. I am sure these people want freedom and liberty.
"Eight hours earlier, at dawn Tuesday, she had been asleep in a shelter of grass and sticks when
government soldiers and police stormed into this camp of 5,000 in South Darfur. Residents and relief
workers said the troops burned shelters, smashed water pipes, fired tear gas and beat people as they
fled half-asleep from their huts. Within five hours, they said, the camp was reduced to ashes and about
100 residents were crammed into the makeshift clinic, seeking first aid for gunshot wounds, burns and
At the United Nations, Jan Pronk, the U.N. envoy to Sudan, said there were "strong indications that war
crimes and crimes against humanity have occurred in Darfur on a large and systematic scale,"
according to the Associated Press." In a report to the U.N. Security Council, he accused Sudan's
government of failing to "end impunity" and bring to justice the perpetrators of widespread killings,
rapes, looting and village burnings.
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In Washington, the State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Bush administration "stands
with the international community in holding the government of the Sudan responsible for the violations
and requests immediate return" of the camp residents who were moved Tuesday. Sudanese Troops
Attack and Destroy Camp in Darfur (
"The war on terror is our fight. All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty, and to be strong
and steady in freedom's defense. It will surely be said of our times that we lived with great challenges.
Let it also be said of our times that we understood our great duties, and met them in full." George W.
Bush 3/19/04
Posted on Nov 4, 2004 at 10:02PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
All is Not Lost
"The national Election Day backlash against gay marriage never reached the state blamed for
triggering it: Every Massachusetts lawmaker on the ballot who supported gay rights won another term
in the Legislature." Gay Marriage Backlash Not Felt in Mass.
Posted on Nov 4, 2004 at 07:45PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Views on the Amendments
Andrew Sullivan has posted two emails that present the two sides of the anti-gay marriage amendments.
Posted on Nov 4, 2004 at 04:01PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Bush: Divide and Conquer
Maureen Dowd has a great column this morning. Bush is talking about wanting to unite America, like he
talked about being a 'uniter' last time. After losing the popular vote in 2000, he would have had reason to try
to reach out to those who did not support him. But instead of trying to bring the country together for the
benefit of all, he has purposely divided the country by rallying support from those who belief in his religious
view of hatred and intolerance so that he could proceed with policies that benefit the privileged and elite.
"The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance
and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel. W.
ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or 'values
voters,' as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and
supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage."
Posted on Nov 4, 2004 at 12:31PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Eugene Volokh is a Jackass
The morning after the election Prof. Volokh feels the need to point out that the anti-gay marriage amendment
in Ohio, which was in part spurred on by the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts may have cost Kerry the
election. The reason being that there was backlash from the decision that spurred on the anti-gay amendment
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in Ohio and 10 other states. I think it is well known that the Goodridge decision has been used by anti-gay
hate groups to get these amendments onto the ballots and passed.
But Mr. Volokh seems to be suggesting that gays and lesbians should not even to try to obtain the same rights
as other Americans since it may cause 'political backlash.' While he claims he is "tentatively in favor of
allowing same-sex marriage" he is clearly not willing to advocate for it. He tries to make an argument
concerning a 'textual' interpretation of the Massachusetts constitution as opposed to one based on morals, but
that does not seem to be his real point.
I guess Mr. Volokh would have criticized Rosa Parks after James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael
Schwerner were murdered in the Summer of 1964, because shouldn't Rosa have known there might be
backlash from her demanding civil rights?
Posted on Nov 3, 2004 at 11:02PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Thank You Senator Kerry
Thank you Senator for all of your hard work. You are the better man for the job, but too many did not see it,
or did not let themselves see it. We do need the changes you would have brought, and now we can only
hope the other side realizes their foolish ways, or we wait until the rest of the people see it so that we can
demand those changes. You ran a great campaign, and while fingers will be pointed in all directions, the only
people who made mistakes were the voters who passed you by.
"In this journey, you have given me the honor and the gift of listening and learning from you. I have
visited your homes, I visited your churches, I visited your community halls, I've heard your stories. I
know your struggles, I know your hopes. They are part of me now. And I will never forget you and I'll
never stop fighting for you. You may not understand completely in what ways, but it is true when I say
to you that you have taught me and you have tested me and you've lifted me up and you've made me
stronger. I did my best to express my vision and my hopes for America. We worked hard and we fought
hard, and I wish that things had turned out a little differently. But in an American election, there are no
losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as
Americans. That is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on
But we stood for real change, change that would make a real difference in the life of our nation and the
lives of our families. And we defined that choice to America. I'll never forget the wonderful people who
came to our rallies, who stood in our rope lines, who put their hopes in our hands, who invested in each
and every one of us. I saw in them the truth that America is not only great, but it is good. So with a
grateful heart, I leave this campaign with a prayer that has even greater meaning to me now that I've
come to know our vast country so much better thanks to all of you and what a privilege it has been to do
so. And that prayer is very simple: God bless America. Thank you. Transcript of John Kerry's
Concession Speech
Posted on Nov 3, 2004 at 04:12PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Fenty in '06 pt.4
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Victor Reinoso won the school board seat in District 2, and I think in large part because of Fenty's
endorsement (though the Post also endorsed him). Fenty has again demonstrated that his influence goes
beyond Ward 4.
"The key was, from the beginning, sending the signal that we were going to represent every
neighborhood . . . and not be the 'Ward 3 candidate' or the 'Ward 4 candidate,' " said Reinoso, 35, who
was endorsed by Ward 4 council member Adrian M. Fenty (D).
In other races, incumbents easily prevailed against underfunded and little-known challengers -- except
for Fenty, who was unopposed.
There is a question as to how Barry's return will effect Fenty's rise. Barry may get a lot of the press that
Fenty will be seeking, as they will be on the same side in many issues. He will need to be careful in how he
balances his pursuit of Ward 8 voters, while not being seen as too close to Barry. While Fenty is in no way a
Barry protege, he needs to avoid getting that label by potential opponents.
"It's not a comeback, either. It's a coming out of retirement!" a jubilant Barry, 68, told reporters as he
arrived at Georgena's Restaurant in Southeast Washington, where about 100 supporters chanted his
name. Later, Barry needed help ascending an elevated podium, but he punched the air like a boxer as
he delivered his victory speech.
Posted on Nov 3, 2004 at 11:49AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
What's Next?
Things don't look good for Kerry, and while I am not throwing in the towel yet, clearly there is great support
for a President who in many ways has been a complete failure. So how is it that so many people voted to
re-elect a failure? Nicholas Kristof has a good look at this:
"To put it another way, Democrats peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's:
God, guns, gays and grizzlies. One-third of Americans are evangelical Christians, and many of them
perceive Democrats as often contemptuous of their faith. And, frankly, they're often right. Some
evangelicals take revenge by smiting Democratic candidates."
"The Republicans are smarter," mused Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat. "They've
created these social issues to get the public to stop looking at what's happening to them economically."
To appeal to middle America, Democratic leaders don't need to carry guns to church services and shoot
grizzlies on the way. Living Poor, Voting Rich
Posted on Nov 3, 2004 at 07:41AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Another Man Shot Dead in SE
A man was fatally shot Monday night in Southeast Washington, police said. Responding to reports of a
shooting, police discovered the man about 10:30 p.m. in the 4600 block of Livingston Road SE. The
man, who police said remains unidentified, was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center.
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Posted on Nov 3, 2004 at 07:33AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Polls are Porn
I really don't like polls, but I have trouble not looking at them. Like pornography they are often used to
generate excitement, or as Merriam-Webster defines pornography's intent, "to arouse a quick intense
emotional reaction." If your candidate is up or down in the poll, you get an emotional reaction, either
positive or negative. Especially now, with exit polls that are known to be inaccurate, we can't help but look
to see what is happening with them. Even network television is vowing to not report on them until late, like
those racy TV shows that come on after the kids have gone to bed.
Posted on Nov 2, 2004 at 04:09PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead in SE
"A 33-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.
Responding to reports of a shooting, police discovered the man about 3:20 a.m. in the 3400 block of
13th Place SE. The man, whose identity was withheld pending notification of relatives, was shot in the
head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said."
Posted on Nov 2, 2004 at 01:44PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Stand Up For Your Right
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can't fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our right
So you'd better get up, stand up, stand up for your right
Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight
Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right
Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight.
Lyrics by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh
Posted on Nov 1, 2004 at 07:51PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
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Blame it on The Beastie Boys
Taking the idea that 'You Have To Fight For Your Right To Party!' way too far.
Dale City, Va. (AP) - A man was shot by police Saturday after authorities say he was the leader of a
group that attacked two officers at a party. Neighbors called police complaining of loud music at a
house party in the 13,000 block of Orangewood Drive. Two officers, who went to the home before
midnight, were attacked by a group of men at the party, Prince William County Police said Sunday. The
group allegedly pinned the officer in a corner of the front porch, hit and started choking him. The
unidentified officer fired a round that hit and killed Jose Leonides-Marquez, 31, of Silver Spring, Md.,
who police identified as the main attacker. The second officer, who also was being attacked radioed for
backup. Police said when other officers arrived, the men were throwing stones at them. NewsChannel
Posted on Nov 1, 2004 at 12:03PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Voter Fraud Update #2 (redone)
Today's update on tracking "voter fraud" via Google News: 6,840 hits
A search for "vote fraud" yields 12,400 hits
2 days till the election, how many days until we know the outcome?
Posted on Oct 31, 2004 at 10:05AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
The GOP: The Pro-Terror Party
The Bush-Cheney camp has officially announced it is happy to see people terrorized. People worried about
terror is good for them, and if the bin Laden tape does that, then great.
Nothing like revelling in the words of the man who masterminded the worst mass murder in our country.
"'We want people to think 'terrorism' for the last four days,' said a Bush-Cheney campaign official.
'And anything that raises the issue in people's minds is good for us.'A senior GOP strategist added,
'anything that makes people nervous about their personal safety helps Bush.'He called it 'a little gift,'
saying it helps the President but doesn't guarantee his reelection." New York Daily News
Via Kos
Posted on Oct 30, 2004 at 04:17PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
It Must Be October
Here is a real surprise. The race to spin it begins, but of course the fact that Osama is still alive may remind
people of Bush's failure to bring him in 'dead or alive.' And it appears Osama has been watching Michael
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"Osama bin Laden, addressing the American public four days ahead of presidential elections, said in a
video aired Friday that the United States can avoid another Sept. 11 attack if it stops threatening the
security of Muslims:
"It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave
50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone," he said, referring to the
number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.
"It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more
important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the
required time to carry out the operations, thank God," he said. Al-Jazeera Airs Bin Laden Tape
Posted on Oct 29, 2004 at 05:58PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
BET Stadium
I missed the marathon City Council hearing on the proposed stadium, but I hear that it won't change the
outcome. There are apparently the votes needed to get the funding plan passed. While rushing to get the plan
approved before the next council is in power cuts out a lot of the much needed debate and analysis, it seems
that the agreement that the Mayor signed does not leave much wiggle room anyhow. Maybe Mayor Williams
knew that once he got MLB to choose D.C., regardless of the details of the agreement, the excitement of
having baseball back in D.C. would override any opposition.
Opponents of the stadium plan contended that Williams has failed to adequately defend his deal with
Major League Baseball to move the Expos from Montreal to Washington in the spring. So far, Williams,
who left town for 11 days on a tour of Asia earlier this month, has attended one community meeting to
discuss the plan.
Posted on Oct 29, 2004 at 04:39PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Two Boys Struck by Motorcycle
One of two little boys struck by a dirt bike motorcycle Thursday afternoon died early Friday.While
police have recovered the red and white motorcycle, they do not know who was riding it at the time it
struck 5-year-old Lawrence Yelverton, of the 2300 block Hartford Street, SE. He died at 4:45 a.m.
Friday.The second little boy, who is 4, is in critical condition at Children's National Medical Center.
Police say they were walking along a courtyard sidewalk on Langston Place with an adult when they
were struck and the rider rode off. At the time they were coming home from day care.
Anyone with information about the motorcyclist is asked to call police at 202-727-9099.
Posted on Oct 29, 2004 at 12:31PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Two Shooting Deaths
A 30-year-old man was fatally shot yesterday morning in Northeast, police said. The man, whose name
was withheld because police had not notified his relatives, was shot about 7 a.m. in the 1100 block of
Bladensburg Road, police said. He was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died, police
said. Police said no arrests had been made.
A man was found fatally shot inside a car yesterday in Northwest, police said. An officer on foot patrol
found the man slumped in a car in the 800 block of Rittenhouse Street about 5:30 p.m., police said.
They said the man was in his late twenties but they did not know his identity. No one reported hearing
gunshots, police said.
Posted on Oct 29, 2004 at 09:20AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Kerry does not need lies to win
The Media Fund is apparently running ads based on internet rumors, that in reality are not true. There are
enough actual facts in Bush's record that can be used to show his failure as president. It is one thing to use
tough campaign tactics to win a race, but to rely on known false statements is going too far.
"This anti-Bush radio ad is among the worst distortions we've seen in what has become a very ugly
campaign. It states as fact some of the most sensational falsehoods that Michael Moore merely
insinuated in his anti-Bush movie Farenheit 9/11 ." Media Fund Twists the Truth More Than
Michael Moore
Via Andrew Sullivan
Posted on Oct 28, 2004 at 04:21PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Target is Coming, Really
It is now officially official that Target is going to build a store in Columbia Heights. But the mayor and
councilmembers have been talking about this for the past three years, often like it was already a done deal. I
have no idea what took them this long to finally get them to agree to build the store, but if the baseball
stadium deal is any indication, I am betting the Target executives just got themselves a sweet deal.
I am basically happy that the store is coming, it is better than having a fenced off patch of dirt. But the size of
the project for that area may be troubling - I avoid driving through there now because the traffic gets so
conjested. Of course the metro does have a stop right there, but the potential for a large increase in traffic
may cause significant problems.
Target Corp. has signed an agreement to anchor an urban shopping mall planned for late 2007 in the
Columbia Heights neighborhood of Northwest, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said yesterday.
Target had announced its intention to anchor the project three years ago. The signing of the agreement
last week makes it official."
Posted on Oct 28, 2004 at 10:02AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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17 yr old Shot Dead
A District youth was fatally shot yesterday afternoon in a Northeast Washington alley, police said.
Jerome T. Marshall, 17, was shot once in the chest by someone riding in a dark-colored sport-utility
vehicle, police said. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Howard University Hospital.
The gunfire took place about 1:20 p.m. as Marshall walked through an alley at L Street and 17th Place
NE, police said. After he was wounded, Marshall ran a short distance to the 1000 block of Bladensburg
Road NE, where he collapsed in front of a store.
Posted on Oct 27, 2004 at 09:51AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Saddam and 9/11 - The Mislead
Some don't believe that the Bush administration 'mislead' the American people to think that Saddam had a
role in the September 11 attacks. However, large percentages of people believe that Saddam played a role, so
how did that happen?
Click to read more ...
Posted on Oct 26, 2004 at 11:41PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 1 Comment
Failing to Pursue Terrorists
We all know how Bush & Co. failed to nail bin Laden in Tora Bora, bit they apparently let Zarqawi get away,
despite knowing exactly where he was. The WSJ reports on it today, but it is not a new story.
"The Pentagon drew up detailed plans in June 2002, giving the administration a series of options for a
military strike on the camp Mr. Zarqawi was running then in remote northeastern Iraq, according to
generals who were involved directly in planning the attack and several former White House staffers.
They said the camp, near the town of Khurmal, was known to contain Mr. Zarqawi and his supporters
as well as al Qaeda fighters, all of whom had fled from Afghanistan. Intelligence indicated the camp
was training recruits and making poisons for attacks against the West." The Volokh Conspiracy -
Missed Opportunity to Kill Zarqawi
Posted on Oct 25, 2004 at 08:35PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
More Missing Weapons Materials
Another report of the failure to secure weapons. This is in addition to this report, where known nuclear
materials were not secured after the invasion. Tell me again why we invaded Iraq - to prevent weapsons from
getting into the hands of terrorists?
"BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and
international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to
demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of
Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.
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The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no
man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had
monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the
explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year." The New York Times
Posted on Oct 25, 2004 at 05:05PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Inside the Pentagon's Gift to Halliburton
Time Magazine has the scoop on a Pentagon employee that objected to the no-bid 5-year contract
Halliburton got. The employee suggested that the no-bid contract be just one year, since the reasoning was
that there was not time for bidding with the war so close. Interstingly, Halliburton representatives were there
in the discussions of the contract (which seems odd to me, but I have no idea how these things are done).
Via Campaign Extra!
Update on Oct 28, 2004 at 06:13PM by Rollins
The FBI has begun investigating whether the Pentagon improperly awarded no-bid contracts to
Halliburton Co., seeking an interview with a top Army contracting officer and collecting documents
from several government offices.
The line of inquiry expands an earlier FBI investigation into whether Halliburton overcharged
taxpayers for fuel in Iraq, and it elevates to a criminal matter the election-year question of whether the
Bush administration showed favoritism to Vice President Dick Cheney's former company.
FBI agents this week sought permission to interview Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army Corps of
Engineers' chief contracting officer who went public last weekend with allegations that her agency
unfairly awarded KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars for work in
Iraq, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. FBI Investigates Halliburton's
No-Bid Contracts (
Posted on Oct 24, 2004 at 08:20PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Can't Hurt to Try
The Washington Monthly looks at the Republican candidate for the D.C. "congressional" seat. The chances
that a Republican would upset Eleanor Holmes Norton is about as good as - aw hell, there just is no chance.
"As budding politicians go, Michael Monroe's main advantage is that he's got the look. The
25-year-old Republican candidate for Washington, D.C.'s congressional seat might not have the
experience, or the money, or the ideas. But he's got the look: coiffed blonde hair, deep-set, earnest eyes,
even a slight cleft to his chin. From head to toe, he looks like he was born to cut ribbons at
grocery-store openings, to press the flesh at shopping malls and Kiwanis Club pancake breakfasts. It's
almost enough to make you believe Monroe when he argues, very sincerely, that he's got a legitimate
chance at knocking off Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting, yet wildly popular,
seven-term delegate to the U.S. Congress. 'My plan will be clear and the end goals will be clear. She'll
see that this isn't just some kid with his name on the ballot, this is a serious Republican contender,' he
implores, looking at me guilelessly. 'People say it's crazy; it's impossible--but the only thing impossible
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would be not to try.'" "Junior League" by Justin Peters
Posted on Oct 24, 2004 at 08:05PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Two Shot Dead
A man was fatally shot and a woman was wounded yesterday in Southeast Washington, D.C. police
said. The attack occurred near 36th Street and Minnesota Avenue about 3 p.m. police said.
Another fatal shooting occurred last night in Northwest. The shooting occurred about 10 p.m. in the
400 block of Lamont Street.
None of the victims' names were available immediately.
Posted on Oct 23, 2004 at 11:33AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Fenty in '06? pt.3
Loose Lips wonders about Fenty's fundraising. Fenty would not be able to use the money raised for a
Council election for a Mayoral race, so the money would go to a 'constitutent fund' to help poorer residents
pay bills.
Is Ward 4 Councilmember Adrian M. Fenty planning on handing out a free gift to every Ward 4 voter
on Election Day?
As of Oct. 10, the council incumbent had raised $328,963 for his challenger-deprived campaign.
And that's apparently not enough. As of press time, Fenty was planning to hold another fundraiser, at
Ward 4 resident Judith Terra's house. The host committee included 112 names of Fenty fanatics who
live all over the city, including D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Chair Mark Tuohey,
lifetime D.C. activist Marie Drissel, and baseball-stadium opponent John Capozzi.
"People who don't live in Ward 4 can still be supportive," says Fenty.
The fundraiser once again raises eyebrows that Fenty's got more in his sights than Georgia Avenue.
"You have to focus on the election that you're in," he responds. "You owe that to the voters." --Elissa
Silverman Loose Lips
Posted on Oct 22, 2004 at 07:19PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead
"A District man was killed early yesterday in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.The 32-year-old
Southeast man, whose name was withheld because police had been unable to notify relatives of his
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death, was shot about 2 a.m. in the 5000 block of H Street SE, police said. He died at the scene.Police
ask anyone with information to call them at 202-727-9099."
Posted on Oct 22, 2004 at 07:15PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Man, 20 Shot Dead
A 20-year-old District man was fatally shot yesterday afternoon near the Potomac Gardens housing
development at the edge of Capitol Hill, D.C. police said. The man was identified as Curtis Token.
Police said he was in a grassy space near Potomac Avenue and I Street SE when someone approached
and fired several times.
Posted on Oct 21, 2004 at 04:41PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Support The Common Denominator
The local newspaper The Common Denominator has been a great source of news about D.C. It is a small
operation, but they do a good job of covering stories that are often overlooked in the City, or providing a
more in-depth look at stories other newspapers gloss over. They need more subscribers and advertisers to
keep going.
You can subscribe to the paper for only $12! The Common Denominator Online: Subscribe
Via Zoe Mitchell
Posted on Oct 20, 2004 at 12:51PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
"we're not going to have any casualties"
This is perhaps the most stunning statement Bush has ever made. It clearly shows his complete lack of
understanding of the reality of his own actions. It shows he must have ignored what so many people were
telling him, including his own father. How could he have possibly come to this conclusion? This presents
the most obvious example of the president's failure as a leader, and shows how truly dangerous a man he is in
his position. Anyone considering voting for him because they think he would be better in the fight against
terrorist needs to think about this statement and how it shows Bush's detachment from reality.
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was
trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "
Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties." CNN
Posted on Oct 20, 2004 at 12:15PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Fox News - By The Numbers
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"On October 18, President George W. Bush delivered a speech in Marlton, New Jersey, on national
security, and Senator John Kerry delivered a speech in Tampa, Florida, on health care. FOX News
Channel carried Bush's speech live for 47 minutes ... Before going to live coverage of Kerry's speech,
FOX News Channel anchor Martha MacCallum said: 'And now we take you directly for fair and
balanced coverage in Tampa, Florida, where John Kerry will be speaking moments from now.' FOX
then carried Kerry's speech live for just under 10 minutes." [Media Matters for America]
Bush speech 43:27 36:42 47:14
Kerry speech 39:35 35:25 9:40
Posted on Oct 19, 2004 at 11:59PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Voter Fraud Update
Today's update on tracking "voter fraud" via Google News: 4,130 hits
14 days till the election, how many days until we know the outcome?
Posted on Oct 19, 2004 at 07:23PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
We need the Truth
"Despite the president's arrogant boasting that he has done everything right in Iraq and that he's made
no mistakes, the truth is beginning to catch up with him. And -- and it's a bitter truth, my friends. It's a
truth that involves the putting of the lives of young Americans on the line. It's a truth that involves
billions of dollars of American taxpayers' money. It's a truth that involves our reputation and standing
in the world." - Kerry's Remarks While Campaigning in Tampa
Not More Lies
He has complained that my administration, quote, "relies unwisely on the threat of military preemption
against terrorist organizations. " Let me repeat that: He says that preemptive action is unwise not only
against regimes but even against terrorist organizations.
As part of his foreign policy, Senator Kerry has talked about applying a global test. As far as I can tell,
it comes down to this -- before we act to defend ourselves, he thinks we need permission from foreign
My opponent has complained that we are trying to, quote, "impose democracy on people in that region.
" Is that what he sees in Afghanistan, unwilling people having democracy forced upon them?
Unfortunately, Senator Kerry does not share our commitment to victory in Iraq. For three years,
depending on the headlines, the poll numbers, and political calculation, he has taken almost every
conceivable position on Iraq.
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The senator's long record shows a clear pattern on national security. He has consistently opposed a
stronger military. He has consistently looked for excuses to constrain American power. He's
consistently shown poor judgment on the great issues of war and peace.
Transcript: Bush Attacks Kerry's Security Proposals
Posted on Oct 18, 2004 at 10:28PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
George Bush's Supreme Court
This NYT editorial is a sobering look at what the Supreme Court could do if Bush gets his way. Bush has
decared that Scalia and Thomas are the types of justices he would nominate to the Court, and based on their
rulings over the past few years, one can speculate how things could change.
"Abortion might be a crime in most states. Gay people could be thrown in prison for having sex in their
homes. States might be free to become mini-theocracies, endorsing Christianity and using tax money to
help spread the gospel. The Constitution might no longer protect inmates from being brutalized by
prison guards. Family and medical leave and environmental protections could disappear. "Imagining
America if George Bush Chose the Supreme Court
Posted on Oct 18, 2004 at 12:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
UDC Law School Symposium on Education
University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law presents:
"At Risk Youth In The 21st Century"
October 29, 2004 at the UDC VanNess campus - this event is open to all.
9:30am to 10:00am Continental Breakfast/Opening Remarks
10:00am to 11:30am No Child Left Behind
11:30am to 11:40am Break
11:45am to 12:30pm Concurrent Panels:
School Finance Reform
Special Education
12:30pm to 12:40pm Break
12:45pm to 2:00pm Luncheon/Keynote Address by Judith Winston
2:00pm to 3:30pm Federal/DC Vouchers
3:30pm to 3:40pm Break
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3:45pm to 4:45pm Concurrent Panels:
Charter Schools
Single Sex Schools/School Harassment
4:45pm to 5:00pm Break
5:00pm to 5:30pm Capstone Address by James Forman, Jr.
5:30pm to 6:30pm Reception
Posted on Oct 18, 2004 at 11:43AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
GOP threatens Rock the Vote
The Rock the Vote group has been discussing the possibilities of the draft. Anyone who looks at the numbers
of military currently active, and the projections for how many we may need, willl ask where the troops will
come from. But the RNC has sent a "cease and desist' letter threatening to have their 501(3)(c) status taken
away - because according to them discussing the draft is a partisan issue.
See the actual letter, and read more here: Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall
Posted on Oct 16, 2004 at 12:03PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
John Stewart does not like Tucker Carlson
John Stewart appeared on CNN's Crossfire, and manage to make fools of both hosts. It is worth reading the
entire transcript, but the last part sums it up well:
"CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.
CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...
STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any
(LAUGHTER) - Transcripts
Posted on Oct 15, 2004 at 09:03PM by Rollins in National Affairs | 19 Comments
A Smokescreen
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The Republicans, faced with the fact that Bush had lost all three debates, and having to face news that Bush
had in fact said he was not concerned about bin Laden, have attacked Kerry for, well, stating a fact. In
response to the question about whether homosexuality was a choice or not, Kerry said he believed that
people, like Mary Cheney, were just being who she was born to be. Well, this has started a firestorm,
initiated by Lynn Cheney, who called Kerry's comment "a cheap and tawdry political trick." I still have not
figured out how this is such a cheap shot, but the alleged outrage has spread across the Right, who are
desperate for any other news headlines than "Kerry Wins All Three Debates" or "Bush Admitted to Not
Being Concerned About Bin Laden."
And sadly, it has worked. Apparently the cable news channels were tired of the same story of Kerry winning
the debates, so they took the Republicans lead, and made Kerry's factual statement "news."
Posted on Oct 15, 2004 at 10:57AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Voting Troubles
As I have noted, there have been charges of voter fraud and irregularities in Ohio, but that seems to be just
one of many, many stories throughout the country. The charges are being made against both Democrats and
Republicans. It is hard to get a real sense of what is happening in many of the cases because so much
depends on largely on allegations, and if there are actual criminal investigations going on, then there is
limited information available.
Unless the election is a blow-out, which seems highly unlikely at this point, things are going to get really
ugly. And as some people have noted, this year's 'hanging chad' will be the 'provisional ballot.'
I am going to start tracking Google News results for the search "voter fraud" - Today it is at: 3,220
Posted on Oct 14, 2004 at 07:28PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
The Inspectors Were Right
The British are now admitting they were wrong about Saddam's potential. But they claim he "was trying to
restart weapons programs." How much further can you be from an imminent threat? The BBC also has this
handy Timeline: The hunt for Iraq's WMD
"Jack Straw has told MPs the claim Saddam Hussein could use weapons of mass destruction within 45
minutes has been officially withdrawn. The claim was at the heart of an unprecedented row between the
BBC and the government which led to the death of David Kelly and the Hutton inquiry. But Mr Straw
insisted that 'even with hindsight' knowing that Saddam had not had WMD, the war had been right. He
said there was evidence Iraq was trying to restart weapons programmes." BBC NEWS
Posted on Oct 12, 2004 at 11:32PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
If Kerry was President, Saddam would ...
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still be in power? That is the usual line that we hear. But is that true? Of course we can never know, but I
believe that if Bush had followed Kerry's advice, then Saddam would be gone, and Iraq would be far more
secure today.
First, remember that Kerry would have not let up on Bin Laden, so you can make a good argument that he
would have been captured. With that done, the focus could have been put more effectively on Saddam and
his then suspected WMDs.
But even if Bin Laden had not been captured, Kerry would have kept the pressure on Saddam while the
inspectors did their work. As Kerry has done in the past, he wold have been following the money - and the
failures of the oil-for-food program would have been shut down. Once we knew that Saddam had no WMDs,
had no actual potential to make them, and when his money source was taken, then he would have been
powerless. He would have been powerless, and everyone would have known it, (of course when we started
the Iraq war he was essentially powerless, we just did not know it) and therefore he could have either been
taken down from within, or from the outside. From the outside we could much more easily accomplished the
"decapitation" that we had hoped for even without massive bombings. That would have left the country
much more intact, and easier to control.
So I believe under Kerry, not only would Saddam have been removed, but Iraq would not have plummeted
into chaos.
Posted on Oct 11, 2004 at 11:32PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Abduction & Rape
A woman was abducted near the intersection of Tuckerman Street and Georgia Avenue in the District at
around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Police say the suspect used a gun to force the woman into a car. She was
driven to Hoyles Mill Road near Little Seneca Lake in Boyds, Maryland. She was assaulted, before
escaping and run to a nearby home.
Police are looking for a light-skinned black male in his 40s, five feet tall, weighing about 180 pounds
with a goatee. He wore a tan and red checkered shirt and khaki pants. He was driving an older model
sedan, possibly a Mazda, that's yellow in color with a light-colored interior." NewsChannel 8
Posted on Oct 11, 2004 at 10:48PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Another Huge Mistake
Apparently our election is more important than the Iraqi's. Despite the fact that our military has just been
successful in taking back Samarra and Tall Afar, they are going to stop there because they don't want more
bad new of causualties before the US election. But the Iraqis are suppose to be voting in January, so time is
running short to take back control of as much of the country as possible.
Once again, this President is making a tragic mistake.
The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S.
elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could
affect the U.S. presidential race.
Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent successes in insurgent-held towns
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such as Samarra and Tall Afar, administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake
cities such as Fallouja and Ramadi -- where the insurgents' grip is strongest and U.S. military
casualties could be the highest -- until after Americans vote in what is likely to be an extremely close
"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official
involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the
official said. "We're not on hold right now. Major Assaults on Hold Until After U.S. Vote
Via Will Bunch
Posted on Oct 11, 2004 at 10:12AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Man Shot Dead
"Man Fatally Shot in NorthwestAn unidentified man was fatally shot yesterday morning at 14th and W
streets NW, D.C. police said.The man, who was described as being in his twenties, was shot about 1:30
a.m., police said.City Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) described the killing as 'shocking and
upsetting in a neighborhood that is really, really changing for the better.'Graham, who represents the
area where the shooting occurred, said police 'do have some witnesses.' He said that 'there were people
seen running away.'The council member said he understood that the killing might have been
drug-related. The victim, he said, 'may have owed some money.'"
Update on Oct 12, 2004 at 11:03AM by Rollins
D.C. police yesterday identified the victim of a weekend killing at 14th and W streets NW. They said
Pierre Johnson, 22, of the 300 block of V Street NE was shot about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Detectives are
asking anyone with information to call police at 202-727-9099.
Posted on Oct 11, 2004 at 09:53AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Kerry's Constant Position
From Kerry's speech in the Senate concerning authorizing giving the President authority to go to war. He is
saying the same thing now.
"In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the
American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new
resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at
our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the
first to speak out.
If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the
international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize
"imminent"--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects
our immediate national security needs."
"In voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run
roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United
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States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for
its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that
test yet. I emphasize 'yet.' Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal
and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is
not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent.
None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack. " John Kerry's
Statement on Iraq Before the War
Posted on Oct 10, 2004 at 12:44PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
We Mock What We Don't Understand
BUSH: I own a timber company?
That's news to me.
Need some wood?
Posted on Oct 9, 2004 at 11:14PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Sinclair Broadcasting "News"
This is very disturbing. An attack ad, being called news, is being forced onto to air just before the election.
The conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose television outlets reach nearly a quarter of
the nation's homes with TV, is ordering its stations to preempt regular programming just days before
the Nov. 2 election to air a film that attacks Sen. John F. Kerry's activism against the Vietnam War,
network and station executives familiar with the plan said Friday. Conservative TV Group to Air
Anti-Kerry Film
Via MyDD
Update on Oct 11, 2004 at 06:40PM by Rollins
You can now sign a petition to oppose this action.
Posted on Oct 9, 2004 at 06:33PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
The Second Debate
John Kerry again demonstrated his understanding of the problems this country faces, both at home and
abroad, while Bush demonstrated once again that he is an idiot. Kerry won this debate without question.
Bush did not blow it like last time, but side by side, Kerry was far more impressive. Kerry showed his
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breadth of knowledge on the issues that were asked about. He answered the questions openly and honestly,
and was able to articulate how his plan will bring the changes that are needed. One thing that Bush did,
which I think will come back to him, was that he was not respectful to the people asking the questions. There
were at least two times when Bush simply rejected what the person was asking, and was simple rude about it.
This was not reporters playing the so called 'gotcha game' Bush likes to denounce, but real voters asking real
P.S. Bush apparently does not read my blog - otherwise he would have known what Kerry was talking
Posted on Oct 9, 2004 at 12:18PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Three Strikes, You're Out
Tom DeLay has proven himself to unworthy of office. Republicans must remove him from his leadership
position, and the good people of Texas should send him packing.
"The House ethics committee last night admonished Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for asking
federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in a Texas political spat and for conduct that
appeared to link political donations to legislative action. The two-pronged rebuke marked the second
time in six days -- and the third time overall -- that the ethics panel has admonished the House's
second-ranking Republican. The back-to-back chastisements are highly unusual for any lawmaker, let
alone one who aspires to be speaker, and some watchdog groups and Democrats called on him to
resign his leadership post." DeLay Draws Third Rebuke (
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 10:30PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Increasing Revenue, or Driving Business Away?
The Common Denominator points out that business owners are not exactly happy about having to pay more
taxes. After paying for the MCI Center and the new Convention Center, for some businesses this may be the
last straw.
"Steuart Martens of Martens Volvo Volkswagen on Wisconsin Avenue NW, the District's only other new
car dealership, said the proposed stadium tax 'would probably do me in.' He said the recently retired
'arena tax' on gross receipts to pay for MCI Center cost his business about $150,000, for which he
received no benefit. He noted that the projected cost of a new baseball stadium is much higher than the
approximately $100 million that the business community helped to cover for constructing MCI.'There's
absolutely no benefit to my business from baseball,' Martens said. 'Why would we stay here, paying
triple what Maryland and Virginia [businesses] are, when we're going to get a gross receipts tax that
could be up to the millions, which we have no way of covering?'" October 4, 2004 - News - Baseball
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 05:56PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
No More 40's in Ward 4
On Thursday, September 30, the Council of the District of Columbia's Office of Legislative Services
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announced that Bill 15-516, the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Act of 2004 was now in
effect. This legislation includes the Targeted Ward 4 Moratorium Zone, which prohibits Class A and B
licensees from selling single containers of alcoholic beverages (70 ounces or less) in Ward 4 business
zones. According to Maria Delaney, Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
(ABRA), ABRA will be sending these licensees a letter informing them that they have a 30-day grace
period to clear their inventories of single containers.
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 05:48PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Shooting Death
"D.C. police are investigating the shooting death last night of a man outside a Northeast Washington
gas station, officials said.Police said Paris Leland Goode Sr. of the 3300 block of D Street SE was
found about 7:30 p.m. at the Citgo in the 3800 block of Minnesota Avenue. It was the same station
where Fletcher M. Lyles, 66, of Northeast was fatally shot near the gas pumps Aug. 20."
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 10:40AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
More of the Same
Cheney, keeping his head up his ass.
What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I would
recommend exactly the same course of action. The world is far safer today because Saddam Hussein is
in jail, his government is no longer in power. And we did exactly the right thing.
via Kos
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 10:26AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Only in D.C.?
The anti-baseball stadium group is truely diverse.
"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
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Southeast, as the D.C. Council today begins debating legislation for the 'sweetheart' ballpark deal.
Groups unite to oppose stadium
I was not aware of the specific of the nightlife scene that is located where the stadium is planned. The article
does mention that some of the property owners may dig in and refuse to sell.
Posted on Oct 6, 2004 at 12:24AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Fenty in '06 pt.2
Councilmember Fenty has come out against funding the new baseball stadium, placing himself opposite Jack
Evans (and the majority of the current Council lineup). Fenty wants baseball to stay at RFK, citing the
"sweetheart" deal MLB seems to be getting. Evans argues that the secondary benefits of building the new
stadium will off-set the costs, citing the MCI Center as an example of what building a new stadium can do to
an area. There is development going on around in southeast where the stadium is planned, but it is a much
different area than the MCI Center's downtown location.
Council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), a leading critic of the proposal for a publicly funded
ballpark, predicted that it will not have enough support to pass the council once it has been thoroughly
debated ....
But Evans told the gathering at the City Museum that MCI Center was controversial when plans were
announced to spend $80 million on the infrastructure. The arena became a catalyst for $4 billion in
development within a four-block radius, Evans said.
I don't really care about baseball, I am more concerned with how the City spends its money. I am not crazy
about the details of the plan that are emerging, but there is the potential for bringing a lot of improvements to
southeast. The problem with the RFK cite is that it is all residential, so you don't have the money being spent
before or after a game or event.
But who will use this vote in their '06 campaign literature? Both - Evans to show pro-development people he
will continue Mayor Williams' work; and Fenty to show the rest of the city he would have rather seen a new
public hospital get built.
Posted on Oct 3, 2004 at 11:06PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Shooting Death
A shooting early yesterday on East Capitol Street SE led to one death and four injuries, authorities
said. Police identified the victim as Jerome Humphrey of the 3800 block of Halloway Drive in Upper
Marlboro. They said his age was undetermined. A gold-colored vehicle was driving alongside
Humphrey's car, and an occupant fired several shots, hitting him at least once in the head, police said.
Humphrey's car hit a utility pole, and two passengers -- a 45-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man --
were injured. (
Posted on Oct 3, 2004 at 11:33AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Potential Hurdle to Baseball
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Even if the City Council agrees to the plan to build the new baseball stadium, which is not guaranteed, the
City will have to buy the land. However, if the landowners don't want to sell, the City will have to try to take
the land through eminent domain. That may not be possible, and it appears that how that might play out will
be decided by the Supreme Court in the next few months. The court has agreed to hear a challenge by
landowners against the City of New London, CT over what constitutes "public use" - which is the language in
the U.S. Constitution that allows for eminent domain.
D.C. has a history of using eminent domain, and has even had a case go to the Supreme Court, ironically
involving land not too far from the proposed baseball stadium. In that case the City was allowed to use
eminent domain because the area to be redeveloped was determined to be so blighted that it was unhealthy. I
don't know if they can make that same case today. So the question may come down to, and it is very much
what the Supreme Court is deciding, is building a baseball stadium a constitutional 'public use' that is so
important that someone can be forced to sell their land?
For more info on the case, see the Institute for Justice
Posted on Oct 2, 2004 at 07:28PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Scalia, not your average conservative
Justice Scalia, I had no idea!!!
"Challenged about his views on sexual morality, Justice Scalia surprised his audience at Harvard
University, telling them: 'I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought
to be encouraged.'" Guardian Unlimited
Via Andrew Sullivan
Posted on Oct 2, 2004 at 05:08PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
The 75% Claim
Bush again last night claimed that "75% of known al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice." But as
Newsweek pointed out after Bush used the number at the convention, this number is very suspect.
"White House and U.S. intelligence officials declined to provide any back-up data for how they
developed the new number--or even to explain the methodology that was used, which they said was
An official with the recently disbanded 9/11 commission also dismissed the new number, noting that it
was impossible to get a firm handle on precisely the number of Al Qaeda 'leaders' that were in place at
the time of the September 11 attacks--the definition that the CIA says it used as its baseline for the
'It was meaningless when they said two thirds and it's meaningless when they said three fourths,' said
the official, who asked not to be identified. 'This sounds like it was pulled out of somebody's orifice.' "
But like Bush's claim last night that bin Laden is "isolated" the 75% number goes to Kerry's point that we did
not finish the job in Afghanistan. Bin Laden should have been caught, and we should have completely
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destroyed al Qaeda. But I guess we should not be surprised that 75% is good enough for Bush, as he has
been mediocre all his life.
Posted on Oct 1, 2004 at 09:43PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Admitting Defeat
Bush: "Of course we're after Saddam Hussein -- I mean bin Laden. He's isolated."
We are supposed to be happy because Osama Bin Laden is isolated? Besides the fact we don't really even
know where he is, that is the lamest thing to say. The American people want justice for 9-11, not to really
inconvenience the guy. We want him, to use the president's words, 'dead or alive,' not 'isolated.'
Time is up Mr. President, and this is not a game so you can't buy another term.
Posted on Oct 1, 2004 at 07:25PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Fox's Fake Story
Fox News published a fake new article this morning. See TPM They pulled the story, but the fact that
someone who is reporting on the campaign with such clear bias and disdain of Kerry is troubling.
Earlier Friday, posted an item purporting to contain quotations from Kerry. The item
was based on a reporter's partial script that had been written in jest and should not have been posted or
broadcast. We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice. Trail
Tales - Trail Tales: What's That Face?
Via Kos
Posted on Oct 1, 2004 at 07:09PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
It's a Beautiful Day
John Kerry won this debate hands down. Kerry was very clear and convincing, articulate and knew what he
was saying. By the time Bush seem to wake up, more than a half hour into it, he still could hardly make a
complete sentence. Bush appeared to be just buying time until he had a few seconds left, then he would blurt
out short pep rally sentences. Kerry demonstrated his understanding of the war on terror, and how the war in
Iraq plays in that. He clearly made his argument that Bush has made tragic mistakes in Iraq.
Kerry's victory in the debate seems to be the consensus, even with honest righties. Many people will pour
over the debate transcript (like me), but for most people, particularly people not paying too much attention to
the campaign, the appearance of Kerry and Bush will decide it. Kerry was presidential, Bush was an angry
mumbler. But the big question if this will get people to vote for Kerry. With only thirty days until the
election, momentum will be crucial, and this certainly can tip it Kerry's way. The debate will energize
Democrats who were getting frustrated by the polls, and anyone who needed a reason to give up on Bush in
the middle of the war certainly got it last night.
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"It's a beautiful day, Don't let it get away" - Bono
Posted on Oct 1, 2004 at 04:34PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Cheney in His Own Words
"'And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?' Cheney
said then in response to a question.'And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right,
both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that
we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to
take over and govern Iraq.'" Cheney changed his view on Iraq
Posted on Sep 29, 2004 at 08:20PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Catania Leaves Republican Party
While not a huge surprise, considering his opposition to Bush, it is good to see he is standing on his
principles. When you realize the party you belong to only gives lip service to some values, but takes action
on others, you need to reevaluate what the party actually stands for. When the Republican party claims to be
for fiscal responsibility, liberty and democracy, yet can't balance a budget, denies gays the right to marry or
be in the military, and works to deny access to the voting booth, you have to ask what they truly stand for.
"David A. Catania said he will make his break from the Republican Party official today, ending months
of public disagreement with national party leaders over their support for an amendment to the U.S.
Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.
Catania, 36, who joined the Republican Party when he was 16, said in an interview yesterday that he
will change his registration to independent in city voting records. For the past seven years, he has been
an at-large member on the D.C. Council, and his change in party affiliation will leave only one
Republican on the 13-member body."
Posted on Sep 29, 2004 at 04:07PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Feel Safer?
Here is something to keep you up at night.
"Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, more than 120,000 hours of potentially valuable
terrorism-related recordings have not yet been translated by linguists at the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and computer problems may have led the bureau to systematically erase some Qaeda
recordings, according to a declassified summary of a Justice Department investigation that was
released on Monday"
The investigation blamed in part the F.B.I.'s computer systems, long derided by Congressional critics
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as antiquated and unwieldy. The investigation found that limited storage capacities in the system meant
that older audio recordings had sometimes been deleted automatically to make room for newer
material, even if the recordings had not yet been translated."
In counterterrorism cases, more than 123,000 hours of audio recordings in languages commonly
associated with terrorism have not been translated since the Sept. 11 attacks, amounting to 20 percent
of the total material, the report found." F.B.I. Said to Lag on Translating Terror Tapes
Posted on Sep 29, 2004 at 11:53AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Obscene Bias at NRO
The National Review Online somehow claims that it is unbiased!! If you want to be grossly biased, that is
fine, but don't try to claim to not be. Is this meant to be a joke?
The critics (even the liberal ones!) agree: National Review Online is an unqualified success, emerging
as one of the best web journals for news and analysis. NRO has established itself as the site of choice
for hundreds of thousands who seek a unique, unbiased view on politics and culture. NRO
Posted on Sep 28, 2004 at 07:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Fox News v. Daily Show
I am not sure what this means for the country, but it does not surprise me -
"Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people
who watch 'The O'Reilly Factor,' according to Nielsen Media Research."
Comedy Central also touted a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg
Election Survey, which said young viewers of "The Daily Show" were more likely to answer questions
about politics correctly than those who don't. - Stewart's 'stoned slackers'? Not quite -
Sep 28, 2004
Posted on Sep 28, 2004 at 04:32PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Something Rotten in Ohio
This report of false registrations in Ohio comes as others are saying registrations are being thrown out or
access to ballots may be denied.
"Petition names allegedly fakedSummit Democrats say signatures forged on gay-marriage
CUYAHOGA FALLS - Hilary Labbe has been a registered Democrat for as long as he can
remember.Aside from the 2000 primary when he jumped ship for one ballot to vote for John McCain,
the Cuyahoga Falls man said he's always been faithful to the Democratic Party.So when the retired
B.F. Goodrich worker walked to the mailbox last week and found a letter from the Summit County
Republican Party thanking him for signing a petition seeking to amend the Ohio Constitution to ban
gay marriages -- he said he was stunned." - filing By Craig Webb and Julie WallaceBeacon Journal
staff writers Beacon Journal | 09/27/2004 |
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Via Kos
Posted on Sep 28, 2004 at 12:26AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Boy, 13, shot dead
The search is on for the killer who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy Monday in a Southeast D.C.
Police were called to the 2600 block of Douglas Place where inside an apartment they found Michael
Swann with multiple gunshot wounds. Swann, who lived in a nearby building on the same block, died at
Prince George's Hospital.
Police say they don't know what Swann was doing in the apartment and why he wasn't at school.
Officers arrived just before eleven a-m, which is during the school day.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099.
Swann becomes the 21st person in D.C. under the age of 18 to meet a violent end this year. That's a
drastic jump from all of 2004, when 12 juveniles were killed in the city. There were 16 juvenile deaths
in 2002. (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on Sep 27, 2004 at 04:07PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Third shot over weekend
It appears the total killed this weekend was three. One being a 16 year-old girl (see yesterday's update
The violence continued about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, when police were called to investigate a shooting in
the 2900 block of Knox Place SE. There, officers found one man dead with at least one gunshot wound
to the upper body. Police found a second man who had been shot in the shoulder.
Posted on Sep 27, 2004 at 12:24AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Two Shot Dead
"A 20-year-old man was shot to death in Northeast Washington on Friday night, D.C. police said.
Michael Watts, of the 500 block of Irving Street NW, was found by police about 11:30 p.m. in the 800
block of 50th Place NE with a gunshot wound to his chest, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman.
Watts was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m.
[Updated] Inside the vehicle, officers found Ashley Walker, 16, collapsed in the front passenger seat,
said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman. Walker, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had at least
one gunshot to her upper body, police said. The car had been reported stolen that evening in
Montgomery County, Gentile said. Metro (
Posted on Sep 26, 2004 at 02:18PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
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Washington Times Correction
The Washington Times columnist corrected his earlier column were he falsely reported statements attributed
to John Kerry as told to him by a republican congressman. I am glad he made the correction, but why did he
not look into it first? If someone comes to you and tells you what someone else said six years earlier, how
can you just relay that, complete with quotes, as the third person's statement? Especially here, where it was
televised so easily confirmed.
Due to erroneous information from Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican, an item in the Inside the
Beltway column in yesterday's editions incorrectly quoted Sen. John Kerry in a 1997 appearance on
CNN's "Crossfire" as arguing for a unilateral, pre-emptive war against Iraq.
In reference to a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding access to Iraqi weapons sites, Mr.
Kerry actually said: "I think that's our great concern [-] where's the backbone of Russia, where's the
backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity [-]
but in a sense, they're now climbing into a box and they will have enormous difficulty not following up
on this if there is not compliance by Iraq."
Via TalkLeft
Posted on Sep 25, 2004 at 11:28AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Kerry in Philadelphia
With Kerry's speech at NYU and now this one from Temple University, he shows he fully understands the
war on terror, and how to win it.
I begin with this belief: The war on terror is as monumental a struggle as the Cold War. Its outcome
will determine whether we and our children live in freedom or in fear. It is not, as some people think, a
clash of civilizations. Radical Islamic fundamentalism is not the true face of Islam. This is a clash
between civilization and the enemies of civilization; between humanity's best hopes and most primitive
fears. The danger we face today will become even greater if the terrorists acquire what we know they
are seeking -- weapons of mass destruction, which they would use to commit mass murder. We are
confronting an enemy and an ideology that must be destroyed. We are in a war that must be won.
Our hope -- our determination -- is nothing less than this: to live our lives confident that we are safe at
home and secure in our world. And that is the great victory I will fight for as your President. John
Kerry for President
Posted on Sep 25, 2004 at 12:02AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Save Civil Rights in Michigan
Coalition for a Fair Michigan is making real progress in fighting off a proposed anti-gay marriage
amendment to the state's Constitution.
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Proposal 2 is at the extreme end of current attempts to deny same-sex couples the rights
of marriage. The initiative's language, insisting on the elimination of legal recognition of unions
"similar" to marriage "for any purpose", will create a host of unintended consequences. Several
federal and state laws already ban same-sex marriage in Michigan. Those hit hardest by this proposal
will be the thousands of middle-class families dependent on employer-sponsored partnership benefits --
health care, prescription coverage, housing -- for their welfare.
Via Kos
Posted on Sep 24, 2004 at 11:49PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Better Than So-So
In an editorial in today's New York Times, Peter Bergen discuss the "progress" in Afghanistan. His
description of the country is that it is doing "better than so-so." Wow! What a ringing endorsement. The
article really shows how Bush blew it by taking the focus off Afghanistan and going into Iraq. If we had
stayed committed to the country, I am certain it would be doing better than "so-so" today, and the idea of
spreading democracy in the region would be on real solid footing, instead of just a toehold.
"What we are seeing in Afghanistan is far from perfect, but it's better than so-so. Disputes that would
once have been settled with the barrel of a gun are now increasingly being dealt with politically. The
remnants of the Taliban are doing what they can to disrupt the coming election, but their attacks, aimed
at election officials, American forces and international aid workers, are sporadic and strategically
ineffective. If the elections are a success, it will send a powerful signal to neighboring countries like
Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, none of which can claim to be representative democracies. If
so, the democratic domino effect, which was one of the Bush administration's arguments for the Iraq
war, may be more realistic in Central Asia than it has proved to be in the Middle East." Hope Amid
the Rubble
Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 10:46PM by Rollins in One World | Post a Comment
Survivor, the real life version
Two people who were reported killed in a plane crash on Monday emerged alive from rugged Montana wilderness Wednesday,
authorities said. The two U.S. Forest Service employees reached a highway after making their way on foot
through mountains in northwestern Montana, said Denise Germann, a spokeswoman for the Flathead
National Forest. The pair turned up one day after both the Flathead County sheriff and the Forest
Service had announced their deaths. Three others died in the crash. - Sep 22, 2004
Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 10:35PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Billionaires for Bush
While the middle class is shrinking, the richest got richer.
The combined net worth of the 400 rose $45 billion and reached $1 trillion this year for the first time
since 2000, before the dot-com bust wiped out billions of dollars in wealth. Forbes List Has Most
Billionaires Ever
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Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 10:21PM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Restricting Democracy
The Pentagon is apparently restricting overseas U.S. citizens from registering to vote through their website.
And these are the
people claiming to be spreading democracy throughout the world?
"In a decision that could affect Americans abroad who are not yet registered to vote in the Nov. 2
presidential election, the Pentagon
has begun restricting international access to the official Web site intended to help overseas absentee
voters cast ballots." IHT: Pentagon blocks site for voters outside U.S.
"Election officials concede that tens of thousands of Americans overseas might not get ballots in time to
cast votes. Late primaries and legal wrangling caused election offices in at least 8 of the 15 swing
states to fail to mail absentee ballots by Sept. 19, a cutoff date officials say is necessary to ensure that
they can be returned on time, a survey by The New York Times shows. In Florida in 2000, late-arriving
ballots became a divisive issue when some were counted and others were disqualified." Absentee
Votes: Hurdles Remain for American Voters Who Live Overseas
Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 12:35AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
CIA report - Bush version
We know that Bush does not like messy "details" and "complicated" reports, he just likes easy to read
summaries. He apparently revealed what was in the version of the CIA report he got.
"The CIA laid out several scenarios. It said that life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be
better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like,'' Bush told reporters during
a picture-taking session with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Bush Dismisses Gloomy CIA Report
on Iraq
And we are suppose to believe that we are safer with him than with Kerry?
Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 12:29AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
Visions last hurrah
I am on the Visions mailing list, and this came today.
To all of our Friends, Neighbors and Founding Members:
Recently there have been many rumors circulating that Visions bar noir is going to close. Sadly, we must now
confirm that the rumors are true.
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Visions will be closing its doors this Thursday at midnight after four amazing years of operation. While our financial
success in the last year and half was not what we hoped, we are proud to have played an important part in the
renaissance of intelligent, independent film in Washington, DC. Our continued artistic success and the support you
have shown for our many innovative programs proves that Washington cares about quality,
To celebrate our dear staff, customers and investors and the special role that Visions has played in the community,
we would like to throw one last party to thank everyone whose hard work and commitment to the arts helped us to
make a go of it in the first place.
We hope you will join us this Sunday night, September 26, from 6 pm to 2 am, as the Visions community comes
together for one final blow-out party at the theater. This party is free and open to the public. In typical Visions style
we will be having special events -- we will be selling movie posters, our cool film reel chandeliers, our curtains, and
we will even auction our bar noir sign to the highest bidder in order to help cover our final payroll.
Please plan to join us Sunday, share some fond remembrances and say farewell to our unique venue. And again,
on behalf of all of us at Visions, thank you!
Andrew Frank, President
Jonathan Zuck, Vice President
Andrew Mack, Vice President
Liz Matheos, General Manager
The Visions Staff: Samina, Sarah, Adam, Sean, Matt, Tim, Paul, Tony, Jessica, Deysha, Eduardo, Brad, Lauren,
Jose, Whitney, Tristan and Angele
Posted on Sep 23, 2004 at 12:23AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Corruption in Texas?
What a surprise. The Republicans wave the flag of democracy as the goal in Iraq, yet in the U.S. they
actively undermine democracy for political gain.
The indictments follow a 21-month investigation by three different grand juries into the activities of
TRMPAC. The result of that inquiry, said Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, was an 'outline
of an effort to use corporate contributions to control representative democracy in Texas.'
Of course they deny that they did anything wrong, and claim that the indictment is politically motivated.
Their attorney even has the gall to say that they received advice from lawyers on campaign laws - so that is
evidence that they did not mean to break the law. How stupid do they think we are?
In Texas, an attorney for Colyandro also called the release of the indictment politically motivated and
said that Colyandro sought advice from lawyers specializing in campaign finance law on how to raise
and spend money from corporations. "So, clearly, he did not knowingly violate the law," Joe Turner
said. 3 DeLay Workers Indicted in Texas (
Posted on Sep 22, 2004 at 10:06AM by Rollins in National Affairs | Post a Comment
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Power of the Press
Posted on Sep 21, 2004 at 11:27PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
International Support
"'The main difference is getting international support and I have no doubt that Bush would like the
support Kerry is advocating,' she said, 'so the issue boils down to whether Kerry can get it.'"
First of all it takes more than just going to the UN every so often. But Kerry will be able to get the
international support because of his position. If countries know there is a plan in place for resolving the
crises, and that they are not just getting sucked into a endless war, they will be more likely to help.
But also one the the biggest problem for Bush is Bush. People throughout the world support the U.S., but they
don't support the president. While popular supprt won't be behind Bush, it can be generated behind Kerry.
Kerry's Ideas on Iraq Praised, Questioned (
Posted on Sep 21, 2004 at 04:56PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
The Speech
Kerry's speech at NYU is one for the ages. You can read it here. Take the time to do so.
Posted on Sep 20, 2004 at 09:47PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
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Hastert's statement is outrageous.
"When a reporter asked Hastert if he thought al Qaeda would operate with more comfort if Kerry were
elected, the speaker said, 'That's my opinion, yes.'
But of couse the fact is that Bush has let al Qaeda continue and to expand since he took the focus off
Posted on Sep 19, 2004 at 11:22PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
"Death of Girl, 4, Ruled Homicide"
"The death of a 4-year-old Southeast Washington girl who was taken to a hospital last week with
stomach pain has been ruled a homicide, D.C. police said. A police spokesman said Angel Fleming of
the 1100 block of Chicago Street SE died Wednesday at Children's Hospital after being brought there
the night before."
"Teen Charged With Child's Death - A 14 year-old boy is expected to appear in the District's juvenile
court to face charges of felony murder and first degree child sexual abuse. The boy is charged in
connection with the death of four year-old Angel Fleming."
Posted on Sep 19, 2004 at 12:59PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Woman Killed
Another death by a gunman on the City's streets.
"A 36-year-old woman was fatally shot and two men were seriously wounded yesterday afternoon
when a man opened fire on a Northeast Washington street. It appeared that the woman, identified
by relatives as Janice Short, the mother of three daughters, was hit unintentionally while on a visit
to celebrate her birthday.
Police asked anyone with information to call them at 202-727-9099. They said a reward of as
much as $25,000 is offered to anyone providing information that leads to an arrest or conviction."
Posted on Sep 19, 2004 at 12:17PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Priorities at the Fraternal Order of Police?
The D.C. government and police have had a goal of having 3,800 officers on the force for some time now.
The more police simply means more cops on the streets, something this city sorely needs. The Washington
Post article notes that this goal has almost been met, but also mentions that Sgt. Green of the Fraternal Order
of Police Lodge 1 is not happy about some labor issues. Some in the FOP are apparently willing to
undermine the goal of 3,800 officers.
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"'Morale is at an all-time low,' said Sgt. Gregory I. Green, chairman
of the D.C. Police Labor Committee for the Fraternal Order of Police
Lodge 1. The union is so upset about pay and other contract issues that
some union officials are talking about inviting other police
departments to come to the local FOP headquarters to recruit veterans
away from the D.C. force." D.C. Police Staff Nears 3,800 Goal
While it is the job of the Union to support the officers, and try to get them the best compensation for their
work (among other things), I think the priority must still be to do the job of protecting the citizens of the City
first. If officers are so unhappy, then they should feel free to leave. I don't think however that the Union
should be actively undermining the Police force as a whole by encouraging Officers to leave .
The FOP D.C.#1 website provides their constitution which clearly puts the 'enforcement of law and order'
above the personal needs of the officers.
Posted on Sep 19, 2004 at 11:47AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
King on Barry
Colbert King discusses the possible backlash against D.C. from Barry's return. He also discusses some of the
other electoral activity throughout the country, including this stunner:
"Nary a word of scorn was uttered by Republican congressional leaders against GOP voters in
Tennessee's 8th Congressional District who brushed aside Dennis Bertrand, a write-in candidate and
Iraq war veteran, last month and instead gave their votes and the Republican nomination to James L.
Hart -- the candidate who considers African Americans as among the 'less-favored races' because of 'a
lower brain size [and] lower IQ.' Hart ranks Europeans among the 'favored races' and believes the
world will be a lot better off if never the twain shall meet. Heard any talk lately about disenfranchising
Republican voters in west Tennessee?" Don't Apologize for Ward 8
Love that New South
Posted on Sep 18, 2004 at 08:21PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
D.C. Gun Bill Progressing
The Senate may attach the law to repeal D.C. gun laws to the D.C. budget. The Mayor made some strong
comments on this:
Williams used his weekly news conference Wednesday to issue a rare challenge to lawmakers, reading
the names of 14 District children who have been shot to death this year and asking whether Congress
remembered them. "It's really an insult to the memory of people in this city who have died by gun
violence," Williams said. "This is not the time . . . to be arming these kids, arming these gangs and
arming crazy people with assault weapons," he said. (
You can contact the Senator from his website: Senator Craig
You can download the House bill here.
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The Senate will not add it to the Appropriations bill.
Posted on Sep 17, 2004 at 11:24AM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Afghanistan - a victory?
The draining of the military resources from Afghanistan to Iraq has allowed the Taliban to regroup - and
apparently they are coming back swinging.
"Bush added: 'Afghanistan is headed for a presidential election. It's amazing when you think about it.'
Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped an assassination bid Thursday when a rocket was fired at his U.S.
military helicopter. ... The assassination attempt, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, came as
Karzai's rivals called for the election to be delayed by at least a month, citing security concerns."
Bush: Progress Being Made in Iraq (
Posted on Sep 16, 2004 at 06:27PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Fenty in '06 - part 1
While some speculate that Barry will run for Mayor again, that seems to be extremely unlikely. As the Post
article shows, he can get people in Ward 8 to the polls, but as to a Citywide election, I think he is smart
enough to not even try (though I am sure he won't squash any rumors). The real question is if Adrian Fenty
will run. He is extremely popular in Ward 4, and he managed to scare off any competition for his
re-election. It is still a bit early to say if he will run, or who else may run (though Jack Evans has said he is
strongly considering it again - and he had no competition for re-election either). But I did notice in the article
that Fenty may be reaching out to the nearly 5000 voters Barry pulled in on Tuesday.
"Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) had already called to congratulate him, Barry said, and
council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4) had shown up at his victory party. Barry said that he had
not heard from the mayor but that his cell phone's service was spotty Tuesday night." Barry Takes A
Swipe At Stadium (
Posted on Sep 16, 2004 at 12:52PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Once again, Bush has been provided with an intelligence briefing that has evoked no response. The Bush
administration is known for not letting contrary information get out, and they have kept an upbeat tone on the
situation in Iraq. Apparently Bush's reelection is more important to them than the future in Iraq. Bush would
have to acknowledge that Iraq is failing before making any changes in strategy - but apparently they fear that
would turn away voters, so he is keeping his mouth shut and letting Iraq spiral out of control.
Is that leadership?
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"The intelligence estimate, the first on Iraq since October 2002, was prepared by the National Intelligence
Council and was approved by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under John E. McLaughlin, the acting
director of central intelligence. As described by the officials, the pessimistic tone of the new estimate stands
in contrast to recent statements by Bush administration officials, including comments on Wednesday by Scott
McClellan, the White House spokesman, who asserted that progress was being made." U.S. Intelligence
Shows Pessimism on Iraq's Future
Posted on Sep 16, 2004 at 11:45AM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment
Get Your Hands Off My Gun Laws
The NRA's purchase of Congressmembers has resulted in the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act,"
H.R. 3193.
"A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives is supporting legislation that would repeal virtually
all of the District's gun restrictions, targeting one of the nation's most stringent handgun bans while the
presidential candidates are battling over gun limits. Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) said House
Republican leaders have promised him a vote before the Nov. 2 election on his proposed D.C. Personal
Protection Act, which would end a ban on handguns in the nation's capital; remove a prohibition
against semiautomatic weapons; lift registration requirements for ammunition and other firearms;
and cancel criminal penalties for possessing unregistered firearms and carrying a handgun in one's
home or workplace." House GOP Proposes to Repeal D.C. Gun Bans
This law would only increase the amount of gun violence on the streets of the City. While the bill talks
about allowing people to "defend themselves and their loved ones in their own homes and businesses," that is
not where the violence is. Most of the murders in this city are drug and gang related, and by making it easier
to get the guns and by removing the ability of the police to take criminals off the street can only increase the
violence and murders. The Metropolitan Police don't want the D.C. gun laws repealed. The majority of the
residents of the City don't want them repealed. But when the NRA talks, Congress listens.
God help us.
Posted on Sep 15, 2004 at 09:27PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
A 25-year-old man was shot and killed early yesterday in Northwest Washington, D.C. police said. The man,
whose name was withheld pending the notification of his relatives, was found shot about 5:20 a.m. at Fifth
and I streets NW, police said. The man was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he died. Anyone with
information is urged to call police at 202-727-9099.
Posted on Sep 15, 2004 at 04:31PM by Rollins in Life & Death in D.C. | Post a Comment
Hurricane Barry
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Well it looks like Barry's landfall on the City Council is coming again. His message that the City is still not
doing enough for the people of Ward 8, and that he can bring improvements somehow worked. I don't doubt
his sincerity, I just doubt his ability to get anything done in the Ward.
Of course one of the biggest problems with having him back is the perception from the outside. While that
should not matter, it does. There will be jokes and ridicule as people will just remember Barry as the Mayor
who was smoking crack.
If anything good can come out of this it will be that Barry does get attention, and if that attention can shine a
light on the problems in Ward 8, then perhaps some change might come. But unfortunately as he has gotten
older and abused his body, he is hardly coherent. My fear is that when the light is on Barry, people will just
see him and his past, and any message he is trying to get out won't be heard.
Posted on Sep 15, 2004 at 09:38AM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | 3 Comments
Barry is Back!!!
It is not official yet, but it looks like he's back on the City Council. I think I will have to sleep on this one!!
Posted on Sep 14, 2004 at 10:01PM by Rollins in D.C. Politics | Post a Comment
The $3 Trillion Dollar Man
I think someone forgot to tell him what it means to be fiscally responsible.
"The expansive agenda President Bush laid out at the Republican National Convention was missing a price
tag, but administration figures show the total is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion over a decade. " $3
Trillion Price Tag Left Out As Bush Details His Agenda
Posted on Sep 14, 2004 at 03:06PM by Rollins in Election 2004 | Post a Comment