Getting the Criminals Off the Streets in DC…Means Arresting the Police

Big City…Big Crime. Corruption on the part of Civil employees is a threat in any government. When it is the Police though, it has an impact on community trust and impacts the ability of the good cops to do their job.

The District of Columbia has more policemen per capita than any city in the world. Between the dozen or so local and Federal Police Departments (FBI, Secret Service, Customs, ATF,  etc), quasi police organizations such as the Federal Protective Service, the Transit Police guarding the city’s bus and subway system, and a host of private police guarding various buildings and facilities – there are actually enough police in DC to station one on every street corner in the city…several times over. During the riots of 1968 after MLK was assassinated, they actually did that with some small help from the National Guard.

A pic of some of DC’s finest. Insofar as this poster knows, none of the Policemen shown in this picture has done anything untoward or illegal.

110 D.C. Police Officers’ Arrests Since 2009 Leads To Questions, Scrutiny

Police officials in the nation’s capital have been facing recent questions about headline-making arrests — not of hardened street criminals but of their own officers.

In a single month, one District of Columbia police officer was accused of taking semi-nude pictures of a 15-year-old runaway and another was charged with running a prostitution operation involving teenage girls. A third was indicted on an attempted murder charge, accused of striking his wife in the head with a light fixture.

Police say the arrests aren’t representative of the entire department, which includes about 4,500 officers and civilian employees. Still, more than 100 officers in the last five years have been arrested on charges ranging from traffic offenses to murder to money laundering, and the latest instances have increased concerns about training, supervision and accountability. The D.C. Council has set a hearing to discuss the problem and Police Chief Cathy Lanier has met with residents to assuage fears of a misbehaving department.

“We don’t think we have a department out of control, and I think that oftentimes is the image that is portrayed,” she said in an interview, noting that the majority of arrests are not for on-duty corruption but instead involve off-duty misconduct that is harder to police.

The hearing Friday will focus on how applicants are screened and what services are available to prevent alcohol abuse and domestic violence, two prevalent problems, said Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the public safety committee.

“I think it’s extremely important that the public have confidence in our police force and we’ve had three high-profile cases of serious police misconduct, albeit generally off-duty,” Wells said.

Police department figures show the arrests of about 110 police officers, for both on- and off-duty conduct, since 2009. Many of the arrests involved traffic violations or involved cases that were dropped or ended in acquittal.

Among the most serious cases was Richmond Phillips, who received life without parole last year for the slayings of his mistress and baby daughter. Wendel Palmer was convicted last year of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir, while Kenneth Furr received a 14-month sentence for an armed altercation that began after prosecutors say he solicited sex from a transgender prostitute.

Lanier has said many of the arrested officers were brought onto the force during a time of lax hiring standards and wouldn’t be qualified to serve today. She said that in some cases the arbitration process has required the department to rehire officers it fired. She said the department has dramatically tightened its recruitment practices to mandate polygraph exams and that only one of about 25 applicants is now hired.

The department also tracks warning signs like missed commitments and abuse of sick leave. And it requires officers to report off-duty arrests, which Lanier contends can make the numbers look worse than in cities that lack that requirement.

“I feel comfortable that our recruiting process, the background screening we do, is as tight as we can get,” Lanier said at the meeting. “But I also realize that there are people that are on the police department that came through at a time when there was not that strict background (check), and those are the people that we want to make sure that if they are involved in misconduct, that we weed those people out.”

But resident Khadijah Tribble, 42, told the chief she was unconvinced the misconduct was isolated.

“Aren’t these trends troubling and isn’t it worth our due diligence to do a thorough, independent investigation of this trend?” Tribble said in an interview.

Robert Kane, the director of the Drexel University criminal justice program who has studied police misconduct, said the number of arrests wasn’t necessarily shocking for a big-city police department.

At least 43 New York City police officers are known to have been arrested between 2011 and 2013 on charges including gun-running, drunken driving, perjury, a ticket-fixing scam and a cannibalism plot. A Los Angeles police officer was charged with stomping a handcuffed woman who later lost consciousness and died. Dozens of Memphis, Tenn., officers have been arrested in recent years.

Kane said that on-duty police misconduct can be reliably defined, off-duty misbehavior by officers is studied less often.

“We know what factors explain police misconduct, when police officers stop people and extort money from them,” he said. “What do we know about officers who walk into a liquor store when off-duty and rob it at gunpoint for some beer?”

In D.C., the first of the recent arrests was on December 2 when officer Marc Washington was charged with taking semi-nude pictures while on-duty of a teenage runaway who had just returned home. Authorities say after responding to the girl’s apartment, he directed her into her bedroom and told her to undress so he could photograph injuries. He was arrested after the girl alerted her mother, who contacted police. Soon after being released from jail, Washington was dead from an apparent suicide.

The following week brought the off-duty arrest of Linwood Barnhill Jr., a 24-year-veteran who was charged after police came to his apartment and found a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing. The girl told police Barnhill had photographed her and offered to pay her to have sex with other men, allegations also made by a second teenager. His lawyer says Barnhill never threatened anyone.

Lanier acknowledged the arrests, especially for on-duty conduct, have shaken the department. But she said she hopes the sight of handcuffed officers sends a message to other officers who would break the law.

“We would like the officers to know that if there’s somebody in our midst that is committing criminal conduct and we become aware of it, we will lock them up,” Lanier said. “We don’t need somebody else to lock them up. We will lock you up.”

If You Build It…Maglev Train

Evidence that the Tea Bagger types haven’t quite reduced America to Third World status…Yet.

Organizers line up big names to push new high-speed rail line linking D.C. to N.Y.

The privately owned Washington company that last year began lobbying to build a high-speed rail line between Washington and New York has lined up some prominent names to press its ambitious plan to improve congestion in the Northeast corridor.

The Northeast Maglev, the 25-employee company founded in 2010, is looking to develop a high-speed magnetic levitation system that would bring passengers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes and to New York in 60 minutes, at speeds of 311 miles an hour.

The company, which according to its chairman has raised $50 million in private funding, plans to announce today it has enlisted several of the region’s business and political leaders to join its advisory board: Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank; former chief executive of Northwest Airlines Doug Steenland; former transportation secretaries Mary Peters and Rodney Slater (now a lobbyist at Patton Boggs); and George Pataki, Christine Todd Whitman and Ed Rendell, former governors of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively.

The board is being led by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who is now an adviser at DLA Piper, the international law firm that the Northeast Maglev has hired to lobby on its behalf before Congress.

The rail line would include stops at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. The project is unrelated to Amtrak’s $151 billion plan to develop a high-speed rail system — that would go from Washington to New York in 94 minutes — in the Northeast corridor by 2040.

The Northeast Maglev chairman Wayne Rogers said his firm does not have a cost estimate for the entire project but that the Washington-Baltimore leg would cost at least $10 billion. He said he expects it to take at least three years to navigate the regulatory, environmental and planning process and another 10 years for construction. The company is working closely with engineers from Central Japan Railway, which operates the bullet train in Japan.

The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!


Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

Grand Theft Government – The DC Govrnment Steals Poor Resident’s Property With Tax Scam

Anyone familiar with the DC Government, and who drives into the city is likely familiar with their Parking Gestapo, who write tickets and tow away cars to the tune of millions of dollars a month.

A new line of theft has recently opened up for the DC Government Mafia,  the theft of homes from the poor and elderly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity, often for tax bills as little as $200. Often the people who are ultimately robbed of their property are sick and old, and in a number of cases the property owners have been in the hospital dying while most of their paltry savings in the value of their homes is ripped off.

And here you thought the only criminals in the city were Gangbangers and carjackers. They should have it so good.

Unscrupulous law firms facilitate the theft, as does a dirty courts system – through charging sky high rates, rapidly pushing up the bills owed by the property owners beyond reach.This is a criminal enterprise, no different than the Tammany Hall of yore, which dispossessed Irish immigrants to make way for developers in the notorious 5 Points section of New York City.

The Federal Government is complicit. To be honest, if they really gave a damn about anything except the press for catching a city Mayor smoking crack with his mistress – they would have put a stop to this.

 

On an overcast morning earlier this year, Bennie Coleman walked past his old house on the way to the corner store. But he said he could not look at it — the memories were too painful. Bennie, who suffers from dementia, had his $200,000 property foreclosed for a $134.00 tax lien, and the company which foreclosed kept the difference under DC Law.

 

LIENS, LOSS AND PROFITEERS

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.

For decades, the District placed liens on properties when homeowners failed to pay their bills, then sold those liens at public auctions to mom-and-pop investors who drew a profit by charging owners interest on top of the tax debt until the money was repaid.

But under the watch of local leaders, the program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies that turned $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts — then foreclosed on homes when families couldn’t pay, a Washington Post investigation found.

As the housing market soared, the investors scooped up liens in every corner of the city, then started charging homeowners thousands in legal fees and other costs that far exceeded their original tax bills, with rates for attorneys reaching $450 an hour.

Families have been forced to borrow or strike payment plans to save their homes.

Others weren’t as lucky. Tax lien purchasers have foreclosed on nearly 200 houses since 2005 and are now pressing to take 1,200 more, many owned free and clear by families for generations.

Investors also took storefronts, parking lots and vacant land — about 500 properties in all, or an average of one a week. In dozens of cases, the liens were less than $500.

Thomas McRae ran a flower shop on the first floor in this house on Sherman Avenue NW. But a tax lien investor from Florida foreclosed while McRae was under hospice care.

Coleman, struggling with dementia, was among those who lost a home. His debt had snowballed to $4,999 — 37 times the original tax bill. Not only did he lose his $197,000 house, but he also was stripped of the equity because tax lien purchasers are entitled to everything, trumping even mortgage companies.

“This is destroying lives,” said Christopher Leinberger, a distinguished scholar and research professor of urban real estate at George Washington University.

Officials at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue said that without tax sales, property owners wouldn’t feel compelled to pay their bills.

“The tax sale is the last resort. It’s also the first resort — it’s the only way in the statute to collect debt,” said deputy chief financial officer Stephen Cordi.

But the District, a hotbed for the tax lien industry, has done little to shield its most vulnerable homeowners from unscrupulous operators.

Foreclosures have upended families in some of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods. Houses were taken from a housekeeper, a department store clerk, a seamstress and even the estates of dead people. The hardest hit: elderly homeowners, who were often sick or dying when tax lien purchasers seized their houses.

One 65-year-old flower shop owner lost his Northwest Washington home of 40 years after a company from Florida paid his back taxes — $1,025 — and then took the house through foreclosure while he was in hospice, dying of cancer. A 95-year-old church choir leader lost her family home to a Maryland investor over a tax debt of $44.79 while she was struggling with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home.

Other cities and states took steps to curb abuses, such as capping the fees, safeguarding houses owned by the elderly or scrapping tax sales altogether and instead collecting the money themselves.

“Where is the justice? They’re taking people’s lives,” said Beverly Smalls, whose elderly aunt lost her home in Northeast Washington. “It’s just not right.”

In a 10-month investigation, The Post chronicled years of breakdowns and abuses in a program that puts at risk one of the most fundamental possessions in American life.

  • Of the nearly 200 homeowners who lost their properties in recent years, one in three had liens of less than $1,000.

  • More than half of the foreclosures were in the city’s two poorest wards, 7 and 8, where dozens of owners were forced to leave their homes just months before purchasers sold them. One foreclosed on a brick house near the Maryland border with a $287 lien and sold it less than eight weeks later for $129,000.

  • More than 40 houses were taken by companies whose representatives were caught breaking laws in other states to win liens.

  • Instead of stepping in, the D.C. tax office created more problems by selling nearly 1,900 liens by mistake in the past six years — even after owners paid their taxes — forcing unsuspecting families into legal battles that have lasted for years. One 64-year-old woman spent two years fighting to save her home in Northwest after the tax office erroneously charged her $8.61 in interest. (more)

Bill Cosby and Ben’s Chili Bowl

Most major cities have a business or meeting place that becomes an “institution”. In Washington, DC that institution is Ben’s Chili Bowl. Philly and Cheese Steak. Boston and Clam Chowder…You are not a Washingtonian until you have consumed at least one of Ben’s famous chili half-smokes. Ben’s clientele crosses all color and ethnic lines, political lines, and economic status. Used to be two places in DC where the rich and powerful rubbed shoulders with the common folks – the old RFK Stadium during a Redskins game and Ben’s. The Redskins have moved to new, more egalitarian digs…But Ben’s continues…

Ben’s turned 55 year old this week, and some big names, including President Obama, Rev Jesse Jackson, and Bill Cosby turned out to grab a bite and celebrate.

Washington Beltway UFO!

The Military got folks all in a dither last night, moving one of their secret “drone” planes down the highway. Apparently the aircraft’s unusual shape snarled traffic for hours (which isn’t much of a trick on the Capital Beltway which seems to stay in permanent gridlock.

Moving pictures of ET no less…

UFO On The Beltway? Aircraft On A Truck Sparks Curiosity

Don’t worry, the strange object seen just outside the nation’s capital Wednesday night wasn’t a UFO. It was a drone.

A strangely-shaped saucer-like aircraft was seen in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs around 11 p.m., causing traffic backups and speculation about government coverups. Photos, like like this one widely circulated on Twitter, show the mysterious object being driven along the Capitol Beltway near College Park on the back of a truck.

Officials identified the flying machine to WTOP:

Maryland State Police at the McHenry Barrack have confirmed the aircraft seen on the Beltway was a military airplane being moved from West Virginia to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Southern Maryland.The plane is 82 feet long, 32 feet wide and 14 feet high. The X-46B is the same type of military vehicle that crashed earlier this week near Salisbury, Md.

The vehicle that had crashed was also a drone. The Patuxent River Naval Air Station is home to a large drone program.

This time the drone was spotted on the highway. Matt Funk, lead test engineer, told NBC4/WRC-TV that “in the coming months” the drone will be seen “flying over the base and surrounding area along the Chesapeake Bay.”

Funk identified the aircraft as a one of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B drones, a type of aircraft often mistaken for a UFO, not an X-46B as was reported by WTOP. And the drone that crashed earlier in the week was Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4A BAMS-D, according to media reports.

When asked about the discrepancy in the type of aircraft, a representative from the Maryland State Police told HuffPost that there’s “nothing in the paperwork that mentions what type of aircraft it was.”

Yup! Besides Aliens imported from the other states in Congress (some of them are too stupid to be human!)– We got our very own Area 51 right here on the Chesapeake Bay!

Another Kwame – Another Fraud

Kwame Brown – Orange Jumpsuit Politician of the Week Award

Small Government is corrupt government. One of the reasons conservatives so love that small government is the opportunity it provides for corruption.

Washington, DC’s city government has a long history and culture of corruption.  Many of the black contractors in the region won’t even consider making sales calls on the DC Government because of internal corruption.

From former Mayor Marion Berry to the current Kwame, this corruption has reached into the highest levels of the DC Government, forming a virtual boat anchor around the necks of the citizenry and the city’s ability to provide services.

The amazing part is that the stakes in the corruption, unlike other big cities – are so small. I’m not real sure this is the type of case Federal prosecutors ought to be chasing, though – as there seems to me to be a lot bigger fish to fry than some moron lying about his income on a loan application. Going after Kwame on this is a bit…

Overboard.

Speaking of boat anchors – Borrowing $50k for a 38′ boat? Obviously he was maxxed out on his Mercedes payment (Kwame had a reputation for driving expensive cars). If he had to borrow $50k for that size boat – he couldn’t afford it anyway. Boats in that size come with 300-600 gallon gas tanks – meaning a fill up for half a tank, which is where most prudent boaters fill – is $750 – $1,500. That doesn’t count $2-3000 a year in slip fees, $1,500 in winterization costs, and normal repairs and maintenance…

It had to be a used boat, because the last time I went to the Annapolis Boar Show, you couldn’t buy the steering wheel on a quality boat in that class for $50k. And I have known guys who spent that much on the electronics package and fishing gear on their boats.

And with the mortgage industry fraud and theft by bank of depositor funds though overdraft and other manipulated fees…

I’m not sure Kwame’s crime rises above theft of stolen money from a thief who stole the money in the first place.

Not to excuse Kwame – But…

I Don’t understand why these prosecutors aren’t putting the real thieves in jail.

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown resigns after he is charged with bank fraud

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned from his seat Wednesday night, hours after he was charged with bank fraud, plunging the city government into a leadership crisis.

“Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this time,” Brown wrote in a letter to the council secretary. “I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.”

Earlier in the day, prosecutors filed a three-page charging document in the District’s federal court accusing Brown (D) of falsifying records in applications to obtain a home loan and to buy a $50,000 powerboat. Brown inflated his income by “tens of thousands of dollars” in the two-year scheme that started in August 2005, federal prosecutors wrote.

Brown, dogged for months by an investigation into his personal finances and his 2008 campaign for a council seat, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, Brown will face far less potential punishment.

The disclosure of the charges set off a frenzy of activity at the District’s John A. Wilson Building, including a hastily scheduled closed-door council meeting in Brown’s office.

Brown, 41, submitted his resignation quietly, in a letter delivered privately. He refused to address a platoon of reporters as he left his council offices about 4 p.m.

A politician who speaks of himself in the third person, has compared himself to President John F. Kennedy and has a love affair with expensive cars, Brown flashed a large grin as he shoved his way through the scrum and tried to ignore reporters’ shouted questions.

“I will have a comment tomorrow,” said Brown, who as recently as last week said that he was not “worried one bit” about an intensifying federal probe into his finances and a previous city campaign.

The charges against Brown came in a “criminal information,” a document that can be filed only with the defendant’s consent and which signals that a plea deal has been reached. Officials familiar with the case said that prosecutors and Brown’s attorney have been discussing the plea deal for weeks.

“Thank you,” he told reporters as he tried to get to his car. “No comment as of now. I appreciate you for waiting in this hallway all this time. I don’t have a comment.”

On Wednesday night, well after Brown had left the Wilson Building, city workers removed his nameplate from his office door, leaving only the word “Chairman” near Room 504…

Brown is the second council member this year to be charged with a federal crime. Last month, former council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D) was sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from city taxpayers.

Chuck Brown – Godfather of Go Go

Used to be, you could tell what city you were in by the music on the radio. CATV and the homogenization of channels after major radio companies consolidated the small local stations – pretty much killed that.

Chuck Brown was a DC institution. I heard Chuck Brown play the first time back in the 70′s, and have heard him play probably 15 or 20 times since. For years he played the “Cabaret” circuit – yet another institution peculiar to DC.

The he started playing a new type of music – Go Go.

Two things you needed to go to a Go Go Club…

Your dancing shoes – and a willingness to boogie all night.

RIP Chuck!

And -

DC Poster’s “Scalia is a Rapist” Mystery

Well…The political season in DC is off to a rather crazy start. Last week we had the moron taking shots at the White House with an AK…

This week it’s another moron taking verbal shots at Scalia, claiming he is a rapist – first picked up by Gawker.

Now, this blogger doesn’t belive Justice Antonin Scalia is a good guy – there is plenty of evidence of bribe taking from conservative causes. But a Herman Cain rapist?

Noooooo… Everybody knows Antonin is a choirboy…

Who Is Putting Up Posters in Washington Calling Antonin Scalia a Rapist?

A crazy person, certainly. A tipster sent us shots of these leaflets, which have been going up “all around D.C. streets in recent days.” In addition to misspelling his first name, the flyers accuse Scalia of date rape, soliciting prostitutes, and pistol-whipping women in hotel rooms. For more information, they recommend that you contact Scalia. He’ll probably just deny it.

Exploding Toilet!

This one goes under …Naaaaaaaw!

Can’t happen, right? Sounds like a job for Mythbusters (But I think they already did that a few years ago)

Exploding D.C. Toilet Sends General Services Administration Woman To Hospital

A female employee at a federal building in Washington, D.C., went to the hospital early this week after suffering serious injuries from sitting on an exploding toilet.

The Huffington Post confirmed the plumbing malfunction, which took place at the General Services Administration (GSA) building on 7th and D Streets SW and even drew the attention of D.C. Fire Spokesman Pete Piringer.

After the incident, an internal memo distributed to the building, which warned workers against using the facilities, was leaked to local media:

“DO NOT flush toilets or use any domestic water. Due to a mechanical failure, there is high air pressure in the domestic water system that resulted in damage to toilets. The engineering staff is working to correct the issue. There has been damage to flushed toilets that has resulted in injuries. We will announce when the issue is resolved.”Some may think an exploding toilet could only be the work of a practical joker. However, this is not the case here.

Water flowing through a city’s pipe systems is sent at a higher pressure because it often travels long distances. This water needs to be slowed down once it reaches its destination, so a malfunction in the pressure-reducing valve can lead to some messy results.

“The closer you are to the source pump, the higher the pressure will be,” Larry Rothman, Roto-Rooter director of plumbing, told The Huffington Post.

Rothman added that exploding toilets might be “a little dramatic,” but did say there are instances where “people will get really wet and the faucet will fall off.” Short of an actual toilet bomber or “methane gas in a sewer line,” Rothman says it’s hard to picture a toilet actually exploding.

Chuck White, Vice President of Technical and Code Services for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, said that while he’s never seen an exploding toilet himself, it is something you read about in the plumbing textbooks.

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On!

 

I live to the West of Washington DC, near the mountains. So we got a pretty good jolt a few hours ago, as a 5.9 earthquake struck…

At first I thought it was caused by thousands of conservatives heads literally hitting the wall after figuring out Obama’s Libya strategy was a resounding success.

 

CNN Discovers DC’s GO Go Music

30 years later and folks are still “discovering” Go-Go, a music style developed in Washington DC. Sorry about the ad in the beginning. Danced away many a night to this at one or more of DC’s “Cabarets”.

Tax Extension, Thanks to “The Last Colony”

Automobile Tags in the District of Columbia have carried the words “Taxation Without Representation” for years. Sometimes referring to the City as “The Last Colony”, because the Capital City has no voting rights in Congress, City Politicians and activists have campaigned hard through the years for DC to receive Statehood status. The addition of one voting Congressman and two Senators has been resisted heavily by Republicans. The reason for that is similar to the Missouri Compromise, where  the slave states demanded that a slave state be added to the Union for every free state. DC is heavily Democrat. Obviously, Republicans don’t want another “free state” with Senators who might shift the dynamics of power in Congress, in a situation erily similar to the position of their ideological forbears.

In any event – those of us living in the (shrinking) majority of the country which does get the sometimes questionable “benefit” of a voting Congressman and Senator,  get a 3 day  “emancipation” of sorts because of a DC Holiday. The Holiday ironically is “Emancipation Day“…

Nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation, he signed into law the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, which ended slavery in the nation’s capital.More than 3,100 slaves were freed immediately, and “loyal Unionist” masters were compensated up to $300 per freed slave (roughly $6,000 in today’s currency).

Federal tax filing deadline pushed back 3 days, to April 18, because DC holiday falls on 15th

The filing deadline is delayed because the District of Columbia will observe Emancipation Day on Friday, April 15. By law, local holidays in the nation’s capital impact tax deadlines the same way federal holidays would, the Internal Revenue Service said.

Taxpayers will have until midnight Monday, April 18, to file their 2010 returns. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their returns.

Emancipation Day marks the occasion when President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Lincoln signed the bill on April 16, 1862, more than eight months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which eventually led to all slaves being freed.

The IRS expects to process more than 140 million individual tax returns this year. Most taxpayers can fill out their returns and file them as soon as they receive all their tax documents from employers, banks and other financial institutions. Some taxpayers, however, will have to wait to file until mid- to late February to file their returns because of late changes to the 2010 tax law passed by Congress in December.

The IRS said it needs more time to re-program its processing systems to take into account the new law. The agency plans to announce a more definitive filing date before then.

Those who must wait to file include people who itemize their deductions, taxpayers who claim a deduction for college tuition and fees, and school teachers who claim a deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.

DC Schools Superintendent Resigns

BTX3 is back from his travels for a few days, although it appears he will be on the move quite a bit for the next few months. Blogging will be intermittent for a while.

Michelle Rhee, nationally lauded superintendent of DC Schools is resigning today in what looks to be a giant step backward for the DC School System. To many, this represents a return to the cronyism and nepotism which has crippled the system for decades, making it one of the worst in the country.

Retiring DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

 

D.C. Schools Chancellor Rhee to resign

Michelle Rhee is turning in her two weeks notice, resigning as D.C. schools chancellor and passing the baton to her deputy.

Effective at the end of October, Rhee’s tenure as leader of D.C. Public Schools will end before presumptive mayor Vincent Gray rendered a decision to keep her during his term. Gray has appointed Deputy Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who was Rhee’s first appointment and shares her values, to temporarily take over the position.

Rhee will announce her resignation at a press conference Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Washington’s Mayflower hotel, with Mayor Adrian Fenty and Gray, the D.C. City Council chairman.

A source tells WTOP the resignation was a mutual agreement after Rhee spoke to Fenty and Gray.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Gray campaign announced a press conference for Wednesday morning, but would not answer any questions about the subject of the announcement.

“(Gray’s) point has been that all of school reform cannot be rolled into one person,” says Mark Plotkin, WTOP political analyst.

“You can find other people who are just as able and qualified as Michelle Rhee.”

 

 

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty Loses Democrat Primary…Wins Republican Primary!

Democrat DC Mayor Adrian Fenty wins Republican write in vote!

Geez – if he runs there might actually be the single Republican in the entire country worth voting for –  unlike the Scumbags in sheeps clothing who fooled the electorate to get elected in Virginia as Governor and Attorney General.

Although I don’t live in DC (and thus can’t vote) – I think Fenty’s loss was a giant step backward for the city.

Fenty wins! (As a GOP write-in)

D.C. Democrats may have rejected Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s bid for a second term at the polls on Tuesday, but the city’s tiny Republican minority doesn’t want to see him go.

A whopping 822 Republicans penned in Fenty’s name on the write-in spot on the GOP ballot, according to unofficial results released Friday morning by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. With no declared Republican candidate competing for the mayoral nomination in the primary, that’s enough to put Fenty–a lifelong Democrat–on November’s ballot as a Republican.

But don’t hold your breath. Fenty has endorsed Democratic nominee Vincent C. Gray in the general election and has said publicly and repeatedly that he has no interest in running as a Republican or independent. He said Wednesday that he would not accept the nomination no matter how many registered Republicans wrote him in.

Were he interested in facing Gray in November, Fenty–who won 45 percent of the Democratic vote Tuesday compared to 54 percent for Gray–would have to register as a Republican and affirm the write-in candidacy by 4:45 p.m. today, the third day after the election. Again, don’t count on it.

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