Roadside Attraction Postcards
From Washington, DC:
Musings on an Election
When It Might Finally Hit the Fan
Story & Photographs by Skip Kaltenheuser
Tasked by Natural
Traveler with castaway political thoughts for this photo essay
from Washington, DC! Tasked with castaway political thoughts for
this photo essay, I see the real roadside attractions looming large
are the presidential contenders. There's peril waxing wise in this arena.
Look back to the starting gate. How silly the oracles' certitudes look
now. So this political meander is of quick and dirty drive-by shootings.
Allow me to lean on a few prior scribbles with shelf life to flesh my
points out. I'll also refer to a few other quick reads.
Part of Last Conversation Piece by Juan Munoz, by
the Hirshhorn Museum. Its conspiratorial feel, with panicked outsiders,
seems apt for Washington.
A disclosure (no such thing as "full disclosure").
And a writer's query. How much has my political perspective changed
much since I came to Washington in '79? Not much. Before getting into
topics tangential to finance sector influence, I should say I'm not
dispassionate. I'm writing up a personal experience to expose what even
so-called community banks now get away with. It's not pleasant, discussing
my family upended by hogs in suits. My near-99 year-old mother recently
lost her Iowa family farm, and much more, and I'm committed to write
about it. The farm disappeared at the intersection of egregious bank
misconduct and of jaw-dropping government indifference.
I take no pleasure noting Democrats are in the vanguard
of Potterville as much as Republicans. The troubling saga includes what
I believe to be compromised government officials running interference
for a bank. It's topped off by a greedy bankruptcy trustee who, with
the imprimatur of DOJ, turned bankruptcy protection into an oxymoron
to further his own gain. What I believe most people outside bureaucracy's
bubble would recognize as corruption was then covered up by the US Trustee
Program. Whats really going on out there for the little guy in
the bankruptcy system? Interested media, reform groups and legislators,
get in touch.
A class act on the street for many years, the owner
reliably dapper in a tan suit and panama hat. Always wanted to ask where
he wintered, and how this came to be. Missed opportunities aplenty.
Also, Im considering a larger project, perhaps
a book, giving voice to families derailed by deceptive banks that got
away with it. No promises, I suspect the numbers are large, but folks
with stories of what predatory banks did to them while government went
ho-hum, drop me a note. They say a conservative is a liberal whos
been mugged. Not if mugged by a bank. Help throw some light on whats
happening across the country under medias radar.
Back to risky political observations that could fly
apart at any moment.
First off, everything old is new again. We repeatedly
hear how much has changed in the Republican race. Heres a column
assessing a Republican primary debate in 2012, scribbled for an international
lawyer crowd. It was all there before the Muslim-baiting, the
kowtow to Sheldon Adelson, the bellicosity to Iran, the bought and paid
for ideologies. Whats really changed, other than some cast members
the Not Ready for Primary-Time Players and an American
knockoff of Berlusconi demonstrating how to do mischief right? How wondrous
freeing oneself from fear of misspeaking must be. Other contenders envious
of Trumps free and easy must crave just a little dab of Tourettes
to slide over that hump. Wait, I hear Cruzs tower of Babel slipping
As for takeout ideology the Tea Party, the CATO
It distracts us from the aims of the elite that
ordered it, just as magicians get us to watch the wrong hand. Heres
a scribble trying to make sense of the Tea Party in 2010. Since
then Jane Mayer has detailed how its done in her insightful new
book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the
Rise of the Radical Right. Catch the book, but at least catch
this review by Bill McKibben.
Im tempted to update this imaginary Washington,
where Donald Trump made an early appearance. Its an exorcism of
the last presidential race, though many players are still in play. How
would you update it in your imagination?
This is the carnival DC ought to emulate. Catch
satire and a slideshow from Basel, Switzerland.
The Kennedy family, joined by crowds lining the
road crossing Memorial Bridge by the Lincoln Memorial, says good-bye
again, this time for Senator Ted.
Trump this! I admit to guilty pleasures when
Trump pops out a truth, as with the Bush administrations deceptions
backing the invasion of Iraq and our being asleep at the switch before
9/11. After Republican boos came forth, I wished Trump had hopped on
a talk show recalling what the Bush White House did to Ambassador Joe
Wilson and to his wife Valerie Plame, then a CIA agent. Wilson refuted
Bush Administration claims on Saddams use of Niger yellowcake,
his report one of at least three major reports drawing the same conclusion,
all ignored and buried. Trump could point to the obvious animosity Saddam
held toward Al Qaeda, that hed have nothing to do with them. And
he could refer to a Pulitzer-winning book by Lawrence Wright, The
Looming Tower, Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, which underscores
the governments bumbling and negligence.
Instead, Trump started shuffling back. Who knows what
comes next? In a world that loves irony, what if Trump the Performance
Artist known as The Donald becomes President Trump and decides
to prove hes not a paper tiger? His own bit of shock and awe,
abroad or at home? Im curious as to what Trump will do to Rubio,
the establishments most recently anointed contender. Hypocrisy
cant lay a glove on the shame-proof Trump, but If Rubio has such
skeletons in his closet, hed best lock them up tight before Trump,
skilled at timing, dances them onto the stage when the establishment
least expects it. Whether or not Trump runs aground, the takeaway on
his success is that large swaths of Republicans are so rattled by the
slings and arrows of misfortune that it doesnt matter if Trumps
brand of populism is a shape-shifter, his certainties mercurial. Fans
will still see in him what they want to see, a champion wholl
tell the power brokers to toss off their power levers. Other Republican
contenders arent convincing when they warble about it. Trumps
fans like hearing what they know, that the fix is in, that theyve
been played for chumps by an elite with a stacked deck. If Trump ends
up playing them for suckers too, at least he brings entertainment value.
But the rank and file ought to be reminded that while Trump says he
isnt beholden to special interests, he is a special interest.
Think this billionaire wants to pay more taxes so they can get some
relief? Does the Republican establishment really think Romney, with
his familys past off-shore holdings and enviable tax rates, is
the messenger to speculate on Trumps taxes? Mr. Self-Deport
should be the walking cue card warning of xenophobia? Maybe Romney fantasizes
being drafted if other candidates vaporize.
Portion of the 30s painting by muralist
Cueva del Rio that winds up the staircase in the Mexican Cultural Institute.
This section portrays the Festival of the Flowers in Tehuantepec. The
mansion and its spectacular rooms, one with an annual Day of the
Dead display, and photography gallery are well worth a look. Pick a
majestic room and linger with a book
When I first tuned into Trump, I wondered whats
behind what seems information processing delays. Odd, matched with a
demeanor thats a little speedy for a near-septuagenarian. Thinking
on his enthusiastic ambiguity, he reminds me of speech patterns of con
artists who let their marks fill in the blanks with what they want to
hear. Thats likely still a part of it, but Timothy
Egan in the NY Times recently made a great case for sleep deprivation.
Interesting. Or maybe Trumps a master craftsman at brainwashing,
the dark side of the populist force at work. Somethings working
for him. Take
notes, Charlie Sheen, you coulda been a contender. Winning!
In the independent realm, Mike Bloombergs
sounding the political depths. Some of his issues deserve respect, but
hasnt Wall Street enough champions running? He doesnt like
losing, or improving Trumps chances, so thin odds hell run
just for amusement. At least hes training his media guns on discrediting
more pieces like this, on the fizzle of Trumps international sizzle.
Three Bull Moose fans avert their gaze, unable to
watch Teddy bomb another presidential race.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Bernie is
threatened by the death of a thousand slice-and-dice talking points
by Hillarys minions. Theyre well-placed in the media echo-chamber,
financially tied to Hillarys campaign and to super-pacs supporting
Most critiques boil down to single issue candidate,
how does he pay for it?, and the Republican Congress
will pour molasses on him. Theyll pour molasses on
Hillary, too, as they do on President Obama. But if Bernie actually
won, a number of seats would likely change in Congress, despite the
gerrymandered districts that give the Republicans the House despite
their losing the collective popular vote. We dream of a corrective algorithm
that fairly redraws districts based on the census, letting the chips
fall where they may. But that dream requires courageous state legislators.
In any case, if Bernie triumphs, a sea-change cometh. Regardless, odds
of Republicans losing the US Senate are decent. Voter turnout takes
How does Bernie pay for it? Cmon. Were
way beyond flirting with the Roaring Twenties wealth gap. Adjustments
are in order. Thats how to pay for needed infrastructure projcts,
public college tuition, further improving health care and other investments
in our future. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, the
twenty (!!!) richest Americans own more wealth than the bottom
half of all Americans the bottom 152 million in 57 million
households. The wealthiest tenth of one percent owns more than
a fifth of US household wealth, triple the percentage that rarified
crowd owned in the 1970s. Put differently, that top one-thousandth
of Americans owns about what the bottom 90 percent of Americans own
article in Scientific American notes that contrary to what most Americans
think, American is the most unequal of Western nations, with far
less social mobility than Canada and Europe. The Walton family is richer
than 42% of American families combined. The bottom 40% of Americans
have three tenths of one percent of US wealth. Not a misprint. Three
tenths. Of one percent.
Many believe this disparity is greatly understated,
that a tremendous amount of top tier wealth is not accounted for, that
its hidden in off-shore holdings or shell companies, undervalued,
Peel off some of this distortion, and reorient priorities,
shucking waste like the F-35 fighter. We can find some money for Bernie.
He might have to modify some plans as he goes along, everyone must,
but theres money. Meanwhile, in the last fifty years the CEO/worker
pay ratio has gone from 20-to-1 to 354-to-1. Maybe some CEOs could
take a haircut and put that money into apprenticeship programs.
Part of a memorial to Italian inventor Guglielmo
Marconi (radio), in the historic Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, where I
logged many years. The woman atop the memorial was called The Wave by
sculptor Attilio Piccirilli. Alas, the celebrated Marconi joined the
Italian Fascist Party, and was made President of the Royal Academy of
Bernies a single issue candidate? Bull.
The rigging of our country by our campaign finance system, flaming democracy
long before the Citizens United accelerant was poured on, is far and
away the biggest issue. Because it affects every other issue. It distorts
every market, every decision on priorities. And it fertilizes a mindset
attracting public servant temps aiming to flee Congress
and government for big money in lobbying and legal jobs. Heres
a column from the last election considering what the well-heeled want
as they practice the low art of the thinly-disguised bribe.
Side effects of this rigging even extend into state
courts, where the lions share of court decisions affecting our
lives take place, in states that have some aspect of judicial elections,
a majority of states. The result of the election money grab is that
decisions are increasingly tilting against individuals in favor of corporations
and their lawyers. You dont think that widens the wealth gap?
Also impacted are issues ranging from environmental regulation enforcement
to drawing legislative districts. Heres
a column on equal justice slipping away.
Fundraising is big business in Washington, a
vested interest in many quarters including media advertising. It takes
on a life of its own as much as the military-industrial complex. Indeed,
theres ample crossover to that complex. In 2016, the cost of the
presidential election alone is expected to exceed $5 billion, doubling
that of 2012. That $27 dollar average contribution for Sanders is remarkable
for the dent its made. But the big money and the dark money arent
going away, any more than are the politicians raffling off their favors
with a quiet wink.
The Breadline by sculptor Georg Segal, part of the
expansive FDR Memorial.
One of FDRs quotes there, THEY WHO SEEK TO ESTABLISH SYSTEMS
OF GOVERNMENT BASED ON THE REGIMENTATION OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS BY A HANDFUL
OF INDIVIDUAL RULERS
CALL THIS A NEW ORDER. IT IS NOT NEW AND
IT IS NOT ORDER.
If you believe, as I do, that the biggest threat
to this countrys stability is the rapidly growing political clout
of the finance sector, then steps must be taken to fracture that
political power. Heres
a bit on finance sector influence, also written the last presidential
campaign cycle. Again, nothings changed except its worse.
If youd permit another digression, I interviewed
Ralph Nader in 1999, for Bank Director magazine. Consider
how prescient Nader was as to where the unshackled finance sector was
taking us. Heres text.
When Hillary was First Lady, I wrote admiringly
of her after watching her in the basement of a row house in Adams-Morgan
as she gave awards and a thoughtful talk to excited microfinance entrepreneurs.
Theyd been brought in for an international microcredit conference,
and Hillarys support was touching. Someone who gets it, I thought,
who knows what reasonable access to capital means to the underprivileged.
But Hillary also gets what access to policy levers means to the finance
sector, and what that means to candidates. The Clintons have always
Sunrise on the Potomac. Kayak, canoe or motor under
the bridge and around the bend from Georgetown. The next stretches of
river seem as far from the city as any stretch, with great blue herons
and other water fowl exceeding their quota of fish. Once there, anchor
past small islands of boulders at sunset and enjoy the unfolding evening.
In one 16 month period ending last May, the Clintons
earned 25 million dollars for 100 speeches, half of them by Hillary,
according to FEC filings.
Why would Goldman Sachs or anyone pay Hillary five thousand
or more beans per minute for speaking to them? Nothing new or insightful
a politician can say is worth that amount of money, nothing riveting
and novel in subsequent speeches. That kind of money is paid for only
a few reasons, primarily thanking someone for past actions and influencing
someones future actions. Maybe greasing revolving doors between
the finance sector and key government positions. Theres limited
value to bragging rights on hearing what everyone knows is a kowtow
speech run once more through a speechwriters grinder, other than
showing off the implicit influence and largess of paymasters that others
might covet. I wish Hillary would share those emerald-embedded platinum
words. So far she wont. I doubt theres a Romney-esque 47%
sinker there, but Ill bet theres plenty to make Hillarys
recent Wall Street comments sound like lip service is all thats
moved toward Bernie. According to Politico, Hillarys comments
in one speech to Goldman Sachs included calling banker-bashing
foolish as she defused Wall Streets role in the economic
meltdown, saying we all got into this mess together.
Whos lobbying up there in the Capitol Dome?
Back when separation of church and state was in better shape, gods from
ancient mythology, as George Washington rises to the heavens in glory
flanked by frolicking females. Well, why not? The Apotheosis of Washington
was painted at the end of the Civil War by Contantino Brumidi. Figures
are fifteen feet tall, so they can be seen from 180 feet below. The
painting covering the concave eye of the cast-iron dome is 65 feet in
diameter. Lie on the floor with a telephoto lens or binoculars and take
this marvel in.
Come to think of it, they did all get into this mess
together. Rubinomics. Bill Clintons Secretary of the Treasury,
Robert Rubin was kindly donated by Goldman Sachs. After deregulating
the finance industry, Rubin returned to Wall Street, earning $126 million
from Citigroup in the decade that included the financial meltdown and
the taxpayer bailout of Citigroup. Thank you. Thank you very much. Well
always be indebted to Matt
Taibbi of Rolling Stone for knifing through public relations gauze with
his graphic imagery of Goldman Sachs as a vampire squid. Taibbi
is among those whove written on how Goldman Sachs successfully
uses the revolving door to salt the upper tiers of government(s). And
if you want to drill deep, Money
by William Cohan reveals in detail Goldmans
style and influence, and the scandal of whats legal.
Goldman Sachs did get dinged recently for five billion
dollars to resolve serious questions from Federal and state authorities
over its sale of mortgage-backed securities. Sound like a real comeuppance?
In 2010 alone, Goldman gave out over three times that much in bonuses.
After all, they had to retain the talent that destroyed many trillions
in assets of the little guy. Any jail time for those deceptions that
garnered the ding? Nope. But the large-sounding number is a big PR splash
Cherry blossoms lining the
Tidal Basin, visitors favorite photo op. Fragile and often
ill-timed in an increasingly weird climate, but walking beneath
them provides a circular onslaught of beauty
Thats a holdover from Eric Holders real
legacy, kid gloves for banks. Hands-off Holder is now back making
millions as a partner at Covington & Burling, a law firm servicing
the biggest cheeses in the finance industry. Basically, Holder is part
of a DOJ firm within a firm, as a half dozen other top officials at
DOJ have also landed there. Ever wonder what happened with the deadline
Holder announced a year ago at the National Press Club as he packed
up to migrate to a corner office in the the law firm he always knew
hed return to? Responding in part to a Q. Id submitted on
the lack of prosecutions, including of small banks, he announced a deadline
for US Attorneys to submit potential cases against banks responsible
for the economic crisis. That deadline came and went last mid-April.
Forget specific cases, DOJ wont even say if a significant number
was submitted, or if any significant number will go forward. Any bets
on how many are in the pipeline as the statutes of limitation roll on?
Its not just banks. DOJ
prosecutions of all white-collar crimes are the lowest in two decades.
Who else tasked with financial enforcement is looking ahead to their
post-public servant riches? Catch an insightful NY
Times essay by Senator Elizabeth Warren explaining how enforcement of
all kinds can be gutted by putting the insincere and self-serving in
key roles in federal agencies.
Senator Warrens new report, Rigged Justice, backing her essay
with the twenty worst enforcement failures last year.
Remember, a hands-off tone is set entirely within the
executive branch. No Congressional molasses need be poured. Consider
the revolving door payback for fundraising, for speaking fees, for foundation
contributions. By the way, a year ago a
Washington Post analysis showed the largest chunk of corporate donors
to the Clinton Foundation was the financial services industry.
Single issue, indeed.
Public protests showcase democracys strength.
Son and a chum, trying to make sense of 2006 following the early years
of shock and awe. Shocked yet?
Dwelling on payback, if you want to grasp the
number of favors awaiting Bill and Hillarys thank-you notes, read
the Clinton Donor Network, a Washington Post investigative piece
last fall. It details the billions fundraised by the Clintons over four
decades, for elections and for their foundation. The range leaves one
in awe. Foreign interests and those who advocate them are thick in the
Consider Haim Saban, Israeli and American billionaire
who rose from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to owner of Univision
and loads more. Hes been the Clintons largest contributor
over the years, donating and raising many millions for Bill and Hillary,
and millions more for the Clinton Foundation. Several months ago, Saban
called for the US government to racially profile Muslims. He did all
he could to oppose President Obamas nuclear deal with Iran. Saban
founded the Center of Middle East Policy, which should say something
about its honest broker credibility. As it should about the Saban Center
for Middle East Policy he founded at the Brookings Institute. Saban
served on President Clintons Export Council, advising on trade
issues. He and his wife had several sleepovers in the White House. Read
up on Sabans past efforts to derail investigations of pro-Israel
lobbyists for espionage and to get a preferred congresswoman to head
the House Intelligence Committee.
Donors at Sabans level know how to play Washington
like a violin. How does one escape worry that this highly lucrative
pro-Likud bird chirping for decades in Bills and Hillarys
ears impedes cutting square deals in the Middle East peace process?
That it might dampen efforts in a Hillary presidency? There are many
elements to past failures of the Middle East peace process, Im
not accusing Bill Clinton of throwing the fight because of Saban or
others. But the will to succeed is everything in really tough challenges.
It isnt hard to undermine pushing boulders up a hill. Think what
damage a perpetually failing peace process has done to Middle East stability
and to this countrys image, and what that has cost.
Perhaps Diogenes was really seeking an honest broker.
The most popular repeat
luncheon speaker at the National Press Club? Dolly Parton. Easy
couple digressions in the foreign policy realm, on the future of US
influence abroad and on corruption in Afghanistan, both sadly with evergreen
At least we know Hillary would never turn to the likes
of Kissinger for advice. Wait, whats that?
Hillarys African-Amercan firewall confuses
me. Plenty have written on the Clintons roll in ham-handed welfare
reform and overkill legislation on crime. And thanks to a clever young
protester, Ashley Williams, attention is paid to the ultimate dog whistle,
bringing young super-predators to heel. Political
personas seeking to look tough on crime and tough on welfare have played
havoc with lives in a host of ways. Kind of like looking tough on foreign
policy. But what always creeped me out was was the execution of Ricky
Ray Rector just before the 1992 New Hampshire Primary. To signal how
tough hed be on crime, then Governor Clinton returned to Arkansas
to preside over the execution. Rectors murder of a white policeman
was horrific, but after the mentally-ill Rector tried to blow his brains
out, he was so mentally feeble that he put aside the pecan pie in his
last meal so he could finish it later. Now
read up on Marc Rich, and consider a different quality of Bill Clintons
mercy. And a bellwether of Holders legacy.
Outside looking in, what
many in Washington, of all walks, secretly feel theyre always
doing. 14 floors up at the National Press Club Building, trying
to give the incredible shrinking Fourth Estate a clearer view
of the world.
who in the early sixties was a Chicago organizer for the Congress of
Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC), gets snide comments from Hillary surrogates that they never
met him in the South. Or that his non-southern African-American backers
are a remove from the South. Yeah, there was no segregation
up North. Getting arrested in Chicago is always a ticket to fun and
One tip, Bernie. Dont knock on Al Sharptons
door for an endorsement. He stuck to script way too long in the Tawana
Brawley hoax, derailing the lives of the families of police officers
and of a prosecutor accused of rape and kidnapping, all of them innocent.
Until Sharpton publicly apologizes, its painful to see candidates
provide him a shred of credibility. Stick to class acts like Harry Belafonte
and Spike Lee, and to people who speak from real tragedy.
Mo money and prisons. Until last fall,
and waves of criticism, Hillary was taking money from bundlers from
the private prison industry, an industry that recently got notice for
shoddy treatment of warehoused undocumented immigrants. Heres
a column tangential to those with vested interests in expanding prison
Catch the annual DC Blues Society Festival,
all day Saturday on Labor Day weekend, free at Carter Baron Amphitheater.
In Rock Creek Park, a wonderful National Park filling a deep valley
in the middle of the city. Couldnt live in the city without
A couple memories of different views on fundraising.
When I started scribbling, one of the first politicians
I interviewed was Bill Proxmire of Wisconsin, then chair of the Senate
banking committee. Few positions have more potential for fundraising.
I asked him how he dealt with money in politics. He said in his last
election he spent two hundred bucks, mostly on stamps mailing back contributions.
His constituents knew he was like The Untouchables. Proxmire
couldnt be bought. And he always won by big margins.
I once asked the chief of staff of Senator Alan Cranston
how his boss dealt with fundraising. He deadpanned, People think
if they give you a lot of money, theyre buying influence, but
all they really buy is access. Cranston was later damaged in an
influence scandal involving a bank.
I think Bernies running a little closer in spirit
to the Proxy model. Hillary.
a fine recent read from the New York Review of Books on how the Clintons
prime the pump for the Clinton Foundation, and in turn how the foundation
primes the pump for the campaign.
Everyone in Washington professes to be in your corner.
Some actually are, fight nights at the DC Armory. But they dont
take the head shots, up close and brutal. As this fight progressed,
one photographer wept behind her lens.
Bernies not a tilt at the windmill. If its
Bernie vs. Trump, I bet Bernie will garner more independents than Trump.
And more than Hillary would pick up against Trump. After Trump exhausts
calling Bernie a socialist, Trumps low on ammo. But Hillary presents
a wealth of targets. Think back to the two-for-one Clinton presidential
offering in 1992. People forget that the Clintons ought to call third-party
candidate Ross Perot Uncle Ross. It was Perots distaste
for George Herbert Walker Bush, a former CIA Director who claimed to
be out of the loop on Iran-Contra, that determined where
Perot trained his sizable firepower. In 1996, Bills opponent was
Bob Dole, who has a great class smart-ass sense of humor but at his
core was Nixons hatchet man. After moving to DC I kept my Kansas
voter registration for years so I could vote against him. Hillary is
skilled and smart, but there is not a proven legacy of Clinton campaign
juggernauts. 2008, not so great.
Most folk, millennial women in particular, instinctively
know voting for someone primarily because of gender, race, creed, ethnicity
or sexual preference is the flip-side of voting against someone primarily
for the same reasons. When I voted for President Obama twice, his being
mixed-race was a non-factor. Despite disappointments like Holder, I
thought and still think Obama was the best choice. I believe thats
how a growing majority of Americans ultimately choose who gets the top
job. Apologies to Gloria Steinem. As Bernie channels Teddy Roosevelt
in the bully pulpit, his voice rings true against The Big Money.
A small glider plane, the Space Shuttle Discovery,
in one of the giant hangers at the Air & Space Museum annex
near Dulles Airport, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Check for shuttle transport from Air & Space on the National Mall.
Its a precarious leap of faith to envision the
Clintons biting the hands that lifted them into the oligarchy. Torrents
will pour forth on Trump realities. But people will also learn more
of those pulling levers behind Hillarys curtain. And of their
resemblance to the heavies in The Big Short and 99 Homes.
If Hillary takes the nomination, her slogan might be Lie back, close
your eyes, and think of the Supreme Court.
Critically important, but Im not sure thats
the stuff of revolution. Or of voter turnout if cynicism flies off the
Now Ill wait for my musings to implode as the
race progresses. Thanks for your indulgence and best luck to the country.
Get a little dizzy up close and personal at
the Washington Monument
A BIT OF TOURISM, AS THIS IS A TRAVEL SITE. Peruse
the DC tourism site at www.washington.org.
Show up early for the free nightly 6 PM offerings at the Millennium
Stage at the Kennedy Center. Most performances are archived for online
viewing. I took my daughter to 240 or so before she said Tilt.
Gurgle your aorta with soul food at the Florida Avenue Grill. Try the
new cuisines that have proliferated in DC, befitting what is now a truly
international city, such as Gary Lees Las Canteras Peruvian
Restaurant and Bar in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood. Cheap but tasty
and healthy? The Amsterdam Falafelshop there. That neighborhood
also has lively music offerings from Madams Organ, the Bukom Cafe
and others, but endless tunes also reverberate throughout the city,
including the U-Street and H-Street corridors. Seek out eclectic local
bands like the ska-styled The
Captivators. Explore the vibrant small
and regional theater scene. And so much of DC is free museums,
you cant beat it for a busmans holiday.
Book review: If you seek a rollicking dark view of Washington,
frighten yourself with Presidential
Puppetry by venerable journalist Andrew Kreig. Youll
hide under the bed.
Newseum: Where the News is News; The
Cherry Blossoms of Washington D.C.; Carnival's
Siren Song; Leaving
New York City Harbor