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Bureaucracy Killing DC’s Movie Industry


The DC government’s incompetence knows no bounds.

DC Has Worst Drivers But Safe For Pedestrians


The nation’s capital is the worst place to drive in the country. But it’s a surprisingly safe place to walk.

Fenty Ouster A Black Tea Party


The Tea Party movement and the populist backlash against DC mayor Adrian Fenty are a sign that things are changing so fast that a lot of people simply can’t adjust.

Adrian Fenty Good Mayor, Bad Candidate


Affluent whites are astounded that Adrian Fenty appears about to lose his bid for re-election as DC’s mayor. But the majority black population is less than thrilled with his tenure.

DC Traffic Guide


A helpful guide to the pleasures of navigating our nation’s capital by car, bike, or foot.

Street Harassment App


Chris Lawrence shares (via Google Reader) Valerie Aurora‘s post titled “You can do something about street harassment.” The intro is a useful reminder of how routine it is for women to feel victimized, recounting how often strangers make rude catcalls, how they seem to enjoy whatever reactions they get from their victims, and how generally […]

Europe’s Nadir?

USA-EU Flags

“It is more than a little ironic that NATO has committed itself to defining a new strategic concept at precisely the moment the transatlantic relationship counts for less than at any time since the 1930s.”  So begins an FT op-ed by CFR president Richard Haass. I assess this argument in “Goodbye to Europe?,” a lengthy […]

Why ‘Washington, DC’?


Most of us who live in the area call the nation’s capitol “DC” or “the District” or, less often, “Washington.”   But, officially, of course, it’s “Washington, District of Columbia” or “Washington, DC” for short.  The Constitutional origins of the “District” part are well known and the “Columbia” part isn’t all that interesting; they had to […]

DC Shuts Down for Nuke Summit


A huge chunk of downtown DC will be closed for three days to accommodate next week’s Nuclear Security Summit.  A memo went out sometime yesterday and a colleague passed it on late in the afternoon. As Josh Rogin notes, this will be incredibly inconvenient in a city whose infrastructure is already stretched to capacity: If […]

Gay Kiss Costs WaPo 27 Subscribers

Gay Kiss WaPo

Apparently, this front-page photo made 27 people mad enough to cancel their subscriptions to the Washington Post: So, why did nearly half of WaPo’s subscribers cancel?  A few people wrote  ombudsman Andy Alexander using anti-gay slurs. Mostly, though, it was mothers who didn’t want their kids exposed to such displays and grandmothers who really didn’t […]

Perry Trounces Hutchison in Texas Republican Primary


Kay Bailey Hutchison’s bizarre campaign to beat incumbent Texas Governor Rick Perry in the Republican primary has ended in embarrassing defeat. Gov. Rick Perry won a decisive victory over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas GOP primary for governor Tuesday night, bringing a bruising fight between two of the state’s most popular Republicans to […]

DC Police Leave Stolen Car in Traffic for Week


Here’s a story you don’t see every day:  A stolen car was left parked in traffic — even facing the wrong way — in a busy DC thoroughfare for a week. WaPo’s Mary Pat Flaherty reports. For more than a week, the silver Mercury Grand Marquis sat abandoned in a traffic lane of 15th Street […]

DC Snowpocalypse: Hell is Other People


The world’s tallest female econoblogger, Megan McArdle, is experiencing her first major DC snowstorm and is, shall we say, not impressed. You have never seen a city as completely incompetent at dealing with snow as Washington DC. I mean, two feet of snow is inconvenient anywhere.  But in DC, only the main streets have been […]

DC Snow Record Likely

DC Snow Accumulation Totals

The DC region will likely reach record levels of snow over the next 24-36 hours, With the impending storm for [today] and Wednesday, we have a legitimate chance for an all-time (since records have been kept in the late 1800s) seasonal snow record. Our big weekend storm surged Reagan National Airport’s seasonal total to 45″ […]

Federal Government Closes, Resentment Ensues


Shocking no one who lives in the area, OPM Director John Berry announced late yesterday afternoon that the Federal government would close its offices in the National Capitol Region today because the fallout from the weekend blizzard would make travel unsafe.   Given that this is the area’s worst snowfall in recorded history and that a […]

Caption Contest Winners


The When You’re Hot, You’re Hot Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. (AFP/Narinder Nanu)

The Plural of Anecdote is Not Recovery

DC Yale Steam Laundry

Good micro-level news on the housing front from Matt Yglesias, who notes the revitalization of his Northwest DC neighborhood: Nowadays we have a few more buildings, including the large complex I live in, but it’s still mostly vacant lots and parking. But as of, say, 18 months ago there were high hopes and big plans […]

DC Sues AT&T for Unused Customer Minutes


In a rather bizarre case, the District of Columbia is suing AT&T for the value of unused money on calling cards owned by someone else. The attorney general for Washington D.C. has filed a lawsuit against an AT&T Inc (T.N) unit, seeking to recover consumers’ unused balances on prepaid calling cards.  The suit claims that […]

DC Snow: Beyond Thundersnow

Air Force One DC Snow

In what I thought was just a tradition in the Deep South, the local media are hyping a snowstorm. Snow and winds have increased overnight blanketing the metro region with 4-8″ of snow. Before long, we will be buried by several times that amount making this a record breaking December storm. Double digit accumulations have […]

D.C. Marriage Rate Lowest in U.S.


Tyler Cowen points me to an interesting discussion on the subject “Why So Few D.C. Residents Are Married.” Washington City Paper‘s Amanda Hess cites a Pew survey finding that “Only 23 percent of women and 28 percent of men and in D.C. are married, compared to 48 and 52 percent nationwide. The rates in D.C. […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Winners will be announced Thursday PM Last Thursday Contest winners will be announced Tuesday PM

Planning: USA vs. China

China Politics

Matt Yglesias notes that Shanghai has a long-term plan for expanding their subway system and laments that we’re not so forward thinking here in America. What’s striking is the extent to which we don’t operate like that here in the United States. I think everyone believes that over the next couple of decades the Washington, […]

Bikes and Cars


John Cole points to a new law in Colorado making it illegal for motorists to throw objects at bicycles.  Previously, it has only been a citable offense if one’s aim was good. Cole wonders, “What kind of twisted jackass throws something out of a car at a biker?” and several of his commenters note the […]

Baby Bites Al Franken

Katie Bites Al Franken

Waiting at DC’s Reagan National Airport yesterday evening for a flight to Minneapolis, we caught a photo of this baby biting Al Franken’s nose: Okay, so it was our baby. Franken was very gracious and accommodating. One of the joys of being a United States Senator, apparently, is that one can not read a magazine […]

The Biggest Obstacle to Blogging

Megan McArdle reports that she has had a fourth bicycle stolen since moving to DC, all of them locked, all of them at her home, the most recent inside a stockade fence.  In frustration, she observes, “I think I’m done with bike commuting. I’d rather just hand out $100 bills to random people on the […]

DC Most Dangerous Driving City


Aaron Brazell passes along word that DC and Baltimore are the most dangerous driving cities, as calculated by Allstate Insurance.  Bengt Havorson has the list: The Safest Driving Top Ten 1. Sioux Falls, SD 2. Fort Collins, CO 3. Chattanooga, TN 4. Cedar Rapids, IA 5. Knoxville, TN 6. Fort Wayne, IN 7. Lexington-Fayette, KY […]

DC Thriving During Recession


NYT urban planning professor Mitchell Moss has taken to the pixels of something called New Geography to point out what most of us already knew: Washington, DC thrives during bad times for the rest of the country.  His historical discussion of the District’s evolution from swampy backwater to major city is interesting. But this, I […]

9 Dead in DC Metro Crash

DC Metro Train Derailment

At least nine people have died and dozens injured in a crash of two Red Line trains on Washington, DC’s Metro subway, by far the deadliest in the system’s history.  The investigation is still ongoing but operator error is suspected. WTOP: “This is a tragedy beyond belief,” Metro General Manager John Catoe said on WTOP. […]

DC Interns


Andrew Sullivan links an amusing blog devoted entirely to complaining about DC interns, who are depicted as stupid, rude, and annoying.  I’m sure a large contingent of them exist that are some or all of those things. The fact remains, however, that many DC offices couldn’t function without a large contingent of interns, most of […]

Premier League vs. American Team Sports


To illustrate that US professional sports have a lot of “hilariously anticompetitive interferences in the market” compared to the English Premier League, Daniel Davies constructs an artificial sports league based on all major professional teams in “Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC” in order to achieve a comparable population […]

Freddie Mac CFO Commits Suicide


Freddie Mac CFO David Kellerman has killed himself, DC’s WUSA9 reports. David Kellermann, Acting Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Freddie Mac, was found dead this morning. Fairfax County Police officials tell 9NEWS NOW they responded to his home around 5 a.m. after his wife alerted them to his suicide. Kellermann was 41 […]

A Tale of Two Tea Parties


The Boston Tea Party of 1773: On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin’s Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, […]

Urban Density


Tim Lee does Google maps for three neighborhoods he’s lived in and one he’s thinking of moving to and notes the incredible range of compactness (as visually demonstrated from many more streets showing up in comparable map grids). It’s amazing how many people you can pack into a small area. It’s also interesting to note […]

Protests Don’t Work


Brian Knapp has a good roundup of critiques of protest rallies and concludes that they have outlived their usefulness. Another problem with public protests is that fact that they are generally annoying.  Protests, rallies, and other outdoor events that are organized to accommodate large swaths of people also must accommodate their bathroom breaks.  They also […]

Snow In DC Brings Jokes, Questions


WaPo federal beat reporter Ed O’Keefe helpfully notes that, Washington, D.C.-area federal offices will operate today under “liberal leave” or “unscheduled leave” and delayed arrival status, meaning employees who cannot make it to work can request off, or should otherwise arrive to work no more than two hours later than normal, according to the Office […]

Senate Passes DC Voting Bill


Steven Taylor and I are basically of the same mind on the recent passage by the Senate of a bill to give voting representation in the U.S. House of Representatives to residents of the District of Columbia. I’ve written numerous times over the past six years, so one can consult my DC category archives for […]

DC Statehood Makes No Sense


In a post Robert Prather dubs “A good primer on why I oppose DC statehood,” Matt Yglesias expresses his surprise that Democrats, who would demonstrably benefit from adding two more of their own to the Senate and another to the House, aren’t more wildly enthusiastic. But the striking thing is not how strong Republican opposition […]

Cars vs. Pedestrians

Pedestrian Crossing Light DC Photo

People in Matt Yglesias‘ neighborhood have petitioned to increase the amount of time pedestrians get to cross New York Avenue at 5th St. NW from 20 to 45 seconds and they’ve been rejected.  The rationale: DDOT is concerned that changing the walk time at this intersection may negatively impact pedestrian safety at this intersection further, […]

Obama Inauguration: Too Many Tickets, Too Little Space


While of no consequence whatsoever to the tens of millions who watched the inauguration from the cozy comfort of their living rooms and offices (as I did) yesterday’s event was ruined for more than a few die-hard Obama supporters who braved hours of bitter cold only to be denied entry to the event. WaPo’s Inauguration […]

Obama’s ‘Lincolnesque’ Train Ride


Barack Obama has arrived back in Washington’s Union Station after recreating a historic train ride.  The papers are aflutter. Obama Makes His Way by Train to Washington (NYT) President-elect Barack Obama stepped onto a vintage train car, built at a time when a black man’s ascendancy to the presidency was impossible in America, and traveled […]

DC Real Estate Pricing Guides


Responding to recent shenanigans at Craig’s List, Megan McArdle provides some rules of thumb for those seeking to rent an apartment in one of D.C.’s tonier neighborhoods.  Money quote: In Georgetown, Dupont, or Logan, you should expect to pay at least $2,000 for a one bedroom that you can turn around in; and similar in […]

DC Roads Close for Obama


One of the side discussions over the Blair House brouhaha has been that having the Obamas stay at the Hay-Adams Hotel would pose a major inconvenience for those who drive through that part of the District of Columbia, as roads around the hotel would be closed for security reasons.    With the hotel only three blocks […]

DC Statehood Violates Serious Principles


The DC Council’s petition asking  President-Elect Obama to put “Taxation Without Representation” plates on his limo to “send a clear message to the entire nation and the world” that he supports giving the city a vote in Congress has prompted Matt Yglesias to argue for DC statehood. You would, of course, need to carve out […]

Batman Killed, Long Live Batman

Batman Dies

Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego since 1939, has been killed.  By Dr. Thomas Wayne, his own father, who was himself “killed” in the origin story. Bruce Wayne — who by night is Batman — gets murdered by a man claiming to be the father he thought was dead. In a highly controversial new storyline Bruce, […]

Obama’s Landslide in Perspective


In the discussion on Obama’s apparent 365-173 Electoral College victory, Rodney Dill asks, “How close is this, historically? The popular vote difference seems like it was pretty big by modern standards, but usually that would result in an even more lopsided electoral vote.” It’s an interesting question. Dave Leip’s Atlas has the results for every […]

Obama Wins DC


OTB projects that Obama has won the District of Columbia’s 3 Electoral Votes.   Osama bin Laden could run as a Democrat and win in DC, so it’s not exactly news.

Government can Seize your Laptop at the Border


Via Reuters: U.S. agents can seize travelers’ laptops: report U.S. federal agents have been given new powers to seize travelers’ laptops and other electronic devices at the border and hold them for unspecified periods the Washington Post reported on Friday. Under recently disclosed Department of Homeland Security policies, such seizures may be carried out without […]

In Case You Were Wondering…

Via Reuters: World’s oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC. And let me tell you, they have unearthed some hy-larious stuff! The shocker of the day: the study “suggests that toilet humor was as popular with the ancients as it is today.”

Bob Novak Hit and Run Accident


Veteran journalist Bob Novak hit an elderly man with his Corvette this morning. Fortunately, the injuries were minor although the ensuing controversy is heating up quickly. The Story: A Politico reporter saw Novak in the front of a police car with a citation in his hand; a WJLA-TV crew and reporter saw Novak as well. […]

Heller Denied D.C. Gun Permit


Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned Washington, D.C.’s 32-year-old ban on handguns and established that the 2nd Amendment provided an individual right to own guns, was denied a handgun permit by the District yesterday. He was among the first in line Thursday morning to apply for a handgun permit. […]

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