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Politics & Pop Culture from a homocon.

Category Archives: DC

Quotes from the Pride Parade

size_550x415_Capital Pride new logo JPG

“But if my being seen in the parade is a visible sign that God loves and accepts people across the full spectrum of human sexuality, it will have achieved its purpose.”
– The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Washington National Cathedral

But he didn’t stop there.

“I’m sure I’ll get some angry letters for participating in something this flamboyant. But you know, I think the flamboyance might actually loosen up some uptight people.”

– The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Washington National Cathedral


More Service Closures for Monday #SandyDC

No bikeshare or cool bus either Monday. #SandyDC #Frankenstorm

Monday is Walk to Work Day: Sandy Edition

Due to the impeding doom that is Hurricane Sandy, dubbed Frankenstorm, Metro has proactively set to close its doors completely on Monday.  That’s right, no rail AND no bus service.  Of course, that is because only federal workers take the Metro.  Right…

This is what you see when you visit WMATA.com.  Oh, and I’m cancelling Halloween while we’re at it.

Columbia Heights Day Festival

This afternoon was the Columbia Heights Day Festival in Ward 1 along the football field Harriet Tubman Elementary School. For its sixth year, I was really surprised at not only the low turnout, but also the number of empty booths and tables.

Perhaps it is because two years ago they moved the date from the spring to the fall, and then last year, there was that whole thing with the hurricane. Details.

None the less, there were face paintings, farm animals, musicians, and of course, politicians in attendance. The first booth I found was that of my good friend Pat Mara, School Board Member for Ward 1.

Then I wandered over to Mary Brooks Beatty’s tent. She is running for DC Council, At-Large.

I was able to hang out with my new friend Alex Gallo and catch up on his campaign for ANC. I also saw Councilmember Jim Graham (it is his ward) and Councilmember Muriel Bowser (she will be running for Mayor soon). At least Ms. Bowser was polite and shook my hand when I introduced myself to her. Why was Graham following her around like a little puppy?

Lastly, I was introduced for the first time to Mary Lord, who’s running for the At-Large School Board seat. Hmmmm, I don’t know about her.

Hopefully, the festival can get its act together for next year in time to have an outstanding festival the way 17th Street has done in three years it’s been in existence.

An Extended Sunday Funday!

According to WaPo, the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has granted 42 bars and restaurants permission to remain open round-the-clock on Monday, Columbus Day, and serve alcohol until 4 a.m., the first test of a new city policy permitting extended alcohol sales before holidays.

Among that list are 8 gay and lesbian bars throughout the District, including JRs, Cobalt, and Dupont Italian Kitchen along the gayborhood.

The full list of restaurants and establishments granted permission for the extended hours is below.

(1)Haydee’s Restaurant
(2)Haydee’s 2000
(3)Boundary Stone Public House
(4)Old Ebbitt Grill
(5)U Street Music Hall
(6)18th Street Lounge
(7)K Street
(8)Eye Bar/Garden of Eden
(9)Café Asia
(12)Sabor Latino
(13)Toledo Lounge
(14)Phase I of Dupont
(15)Rock N Roll Hotel
(16)Ziegfeld’s Secrets
(17)Jimmy Valentine’s
(18)Current Sushi
(20)Dangerously Delicious DC
(21)The Argonaut
(22)Jr’s Bar and Brill
(23)Dupont Italian Kitchen
(24)Cobalt/30 Degrees/Level One
(25) Bachelor’s Mill/Back Door Pub
(26)Dirty Martini Inn Bar/Dirty Bar
(27)Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar
(28)Jackie Lee’s Lounge
(29)Phase I in SE
(32) Cities
(34)Opera Ultra Lounge
(35)Lima Restaurant and Lounge
(40)Marnon Café
(42)Music and Arts Club

Quote of the Day

“They were looking for scenes to create of confusion and fear.  It’s no secret the councilpeople in D.C. are pretty far left, so I’m open to saying, ‘Here’s how capitalism works.’ ”

– Travis Kalanick, Founder and CEO of Uber Car Service

I think I just found my new best friend.  For the record, I used Uber several times this past weekend during my birthday celebrations, and continue to love the service they provide!

DC Dems, Ya Think?

From WUSA’s Bruce Johnson

“The Obama National Campaign in Chicago has put DC Democrats on notice: The campaign won’t be making the President, First Lady or any of their surrogates available for fund raisers here in DC.

Said one prominent Democrat,”They’re trying to avoid the photo opp” that might be used against the President.”

Did He Really Say That?

From the Washingtonian, “Yes, I think the city is ready for a very competent mayor, and that would be me, who just happens to be white.” – DC Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans

Mayor Gray, Pick Any Analogy

Drip, drip, drip.  Death by a thousand needles.  There are many others, I’m sure.  WaPo just came out with this little tidbit.

Mayor Gray’s 2010 campaign used information of thousands of city public housing residents, sources say

The Washington Post reports, “the data was used to target residents in get-out-the-vote efforts in the last week of the election, the sources said. The use of such information could violate a variety of laws and regulations, according to experts.”
It’s time to give it up, Mr. Gray.  Leave now, with what little dignity you have left.

Quoted in National Journal

The following article appears in the latest issue of National Journal and quotes me talking about adding INCLUSIVE language to the Republican platform.

Platform Puzzles

No cakewalk: The debate over gay marriage.

What’s black and white, rarely read, and often fiercely contested? Hint: It’s not a newspaper.

By Beth Reinhard

Family Research Council Action, a leading crusader for social conservative values, is sounding the alarm: Support for gay marriage is creeping dangerously close to the Republican platform.

“Strong voices within the Republican Party would like nothing more than to change the official stance in regards to marriage between one man and one woman,” warns a recent e-mail blast from the organization that rattles off a list of alleged heretics topped by former Vice President Dick Cheney and former first lady Laura Bush.

The e-mail promises that donations will be used to send reinforcements to the platform-committee meetings leading up to the Aug. 27 national convention in Tampa, Fla. “Someone has to keep an eye on them,” the group avows.

At a time when virtually all Republican-leaning states have banned same-sex marriage, could the GOP be on the verge of embracing gay rights in its sacred platform? No chance. The Family Research Council e-mail is less smoke alarm and more fundraising ploy—as well as a kick in the pants to the conservative grassroots in an election year.

Yet platform battles, even when stirred up by special-interest groups, the opposition party, or the media, often mark important political and cultural mileposts. The dustup over gay marriage is no exception. With President Obama this year becoming the first chief executive to embrace the cause of same-sex marriage, the issue may be eclipsing abortion as the central front in the culture war. And that shift, inevitably, will reverberate through the platform discussions of both parties this year and beyond.

Throughout American history, platform skirmishes have mapped critical shifts in each party’s balance of power. The Democrats’ abandonment of Prohibition in their 1932 platform, for instance, showed that, behind Franklin D. Roosevelt, the party’s urban northern wing had regained the upper hand over its evangelical solid southern one. Conversely, the GOP’s abandonment of support for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1980 platform signaled that social conservatives had eclipsed coastal moderates as the dominant force in their party.

Platform battles also reflect the particular ideology of that year’s nominee, because every standard-bearer tends to stray from the party line on some issues. Republican Bob Dole tried to dilute the party’s antiabortion stance in 1996. George W. Bush’s moderate positions on immigration reform colored the 2000 and 2004 Republican conventions, while John McCain’s apostasies on stem-cell research, campaign finance, and climate change worried conservative activists in 2008.

This year, Mitt Romney has committed himself to unwaveringly conservative positions on social issues (including support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage). But in a sign of the times, the District of Columbia Republican Committee—the equivalent of a state party—last month became the first official voice to call for inserting language into the platform that reads: “Individuals, without regard to sexual orientation, are entitled to full and equal protection under the laws and the Constitution.”

The D.C. Republicans don’t expect much support for their cause in Tampa. “I don’t think there will be a huge push for gay marriage at the convention this year, but we see this as the first spark,” said Robert Turner, a member of the District committee and the president of the local chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, which advocates for gay rights. “I do see it happening more four years from now and four years after that.”

Could Turner be right? Only 23 percent of Republicans supported legalizing gay marriage in a May 29-31 CNN/ORC International poll. But all surveys show support for gay marriage rising among young people. And Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action worries about what might be called the Ron Paul effect: an increase in the number of convention delegates with libertarian streaks. The D.C. Committee’s push, even if it’s ahead of its time, isn’t likely to be the last try to force Republican platform writers to debate this issue.

If there is a platform shift on gay marriage this year, though, it likely won’t come until the Democratic convention opens on Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. Currently, the Democratic platform calls for equality and opposes discriminatory measures but stops short of endorsing same-sex marriage. But with Obama’s embrace of gay marriage—and the same CNN poll showing that more than two-thirds of Democrats and exactly three-fifths of independents back the idea—that  language does not satisfy leading advocates. “We think it’s important to say the words, for the platform to be clear and say what a majority of Democrats support,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, a gay-advocacy group. “It’s important for the party to get there.”

Wolfson’s group began agitating to include support for gay marriage in the platform even before Obama’s recent seal of approval brought its goal within reach. Freedom to Marry has secured support from 22 senators (strangely, several Democrats from red-leaning and swing states aren’t on the list!) and four former party chiefs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are on board. So is the chairman of the 2012 convention, Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa.

The vast majority of voters will never read the fine print, or even the bold headlines, of their party’s platform. But activists on the left and right recognize it as a useful yardstick in their larger effort to tilt parties toward their causes. “For those of us who work with candidates and elected officials, the platform sets a standard to hold them to,” McClusky says. “It comes down to accountability. We think it’s important to be very exact in the wording.” Which is why advocates on both sides of the gay-marriage debate will be watching every clause and comma when the party platform writers hunker down this summer.

This article appeared in the Saturday, July 14, 2012 edition of National Journal.

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