Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Washington Blog Post -OR- 40-Something Watergating

Updated 11:50PM 6/18/2012: See bottom of entry.

Aerial view of Washington, D.C., as seen during an upriver take-off from National Airport, Aug. 8, 2006.

I found this picture somewhere online a few years ago. New Hampshire Ave. is the street running diagonally away from the Kennedy Center and Watergate  Complex to the upper left, appearing to end just below Meridian Hill Park. I live at that far end of New Hampshire Ave. (although it picks up again in Columbia Heights and runs for many miles into Prince George's County, Maryland).

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This Saturday afternoon was not-too-warm but still excessively sunny one in Washington, D.C., temps around 82F. There is no needed rain in sight (except maybe a chance on Monday).

Yes, that view from my 5th floor apartment (my little window a/c unit visible) again looking out the kitchen window toward the west-southwest in a picture I took earlier this afternoon. That's Rosslyn (Arlington) way in the blurred distance (about 3 miles away).

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A heat wave is forthcoming next week with temps soaring to 95F or so by Wednesday, which should make WOODY! and the LWX crew, not to mention their pet Sue Palka - cabra  happy.

Uh, oh ... Looks like it's her feeding time.

ROAR!

Washington, D.C., where I've been stuck for nearly 20 yrs.

Washington, D.C., the Capital of the late stage American Empire, presently in between Wall Street-blown bubbles and Bush Family presidential regnums but easily in the grips of a corporate-oligarchical overclass - sponsored Southernized Republican vapors, fundamentalist deliriums, and Teabagger insanity.


And there's No-Drama-Obama looking all community-organizer clueless and law professorial intellectual, believing that he can reason with the irrational, the para-rational, and the Dalek-like "Movement Conservative" illiberal radicals.

I guess it's easier drone-attacking outdoor wedding partiesEvil-Doers in Pakistan than it is dealing with the late-stage imperial insanity back here.


The good news, if there is any, is that in fifty years or so, America will be (as I read somewhere recently) "the best-armed Third World country ever."


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What we really need is abrupt climate change -- at least a sort of anthropogenic global warming-triggered mini-Younger Dryas event to get the National Capital region into a Nova Scotia or Newfoundland climate zone.

Norris Point, Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Aug. 20, 2009

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By the way, here are some images that Paul Krugman posted on his blog the past few days.

This graph shows household real net worth per capita, 1990 - 2012. This shows that the increase in the Clinton era was "real" -- genuine -- while in the Bush years, it was all bubble. Source here.

As ever, I strongly recommend reading both his blog that is usually updated a few times a day and his twice-weekly op-ed columns in The New York Times, which are also available online (scroll down to "Columns").

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Betty White visits Pres. Barack Obama at the White House, June 11, 2012. See here.

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Anyway, I don't really feel much like writing a lengthy entry. As I mentioned, I'm home on this late Saturday afternoon in my air-conditioned wee-apartment, blinds down, TV tuned to Music Choice channel 891 "Easy Listening." My usual old sit-com channels (TV Land, Antenna TV, Hallmark) aren't presently showing anything I like.

Aerial view that I found online of Washington, D.C., looking south from Lafayette Park and the White House, past the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial, and down the Potomac River. East Potomac Park just out into the Potomac and marks where the Anacostia River empties into it.  

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I slept until about quarter after three this afternoon -- after going to bed around quarter after four in the morning. That followed a late night at Nellie's with Gary and Wendy, which in turn followed an unplanned few hours at the Post Pub where I had a very nice steak dinner and some drinks. I walked home from work and stopped there. Kristof joined me about half way through before he headed to Arlington for the weekend to visit D.

Interior of the Post Pub at the bar, Washington, D.C., 8:40PM, June 15, 2012. Yes, this is a very dim picture taken with my flashless, low-quality cellphone camera. And that is Kristof's arm on the right.

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The Post Pub -- so named because it is located a block from The Washington Post newsroom building -- was cool, dim, and pleasantly inviting when I got there, albeit rather crowded initially. It was one of those things where you come in from a sun-bedazzled city sidewalk on a very warm day and plunge into cool darkness and it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust.

Screenshot image of the Post Pub's website.

The Post Post can be very nice like this or it can be late night sketchy (it depends), esp. given its downtown location south of the more row houses-and-apartment building residential sections of Dupont Circle and Logan Circle. In short, even nowadays the street outside can be late night dicey.

Interior view of the Post Pub as seen last month. This image and the outdoor one below are from here.

The place used to be suffocatingly smoky inside before the historically wonderful indoor restauarant and bar smoking ban.

Small outdoor seating area of the Post Pub.

I suppose at one time decades ago the place -- which was once called the Post House Restaurant -- had lots of WaPo reporters as customers. Back when reporters drank like fish.


Today, The WaHoPo is a dreadful, outright unreadable flag-of-Empire-waving newspaper that provides no value to its local readership, a rapidly sinking ship that would have already gone down but for Don Graham's Kaplan Higher Education for-profit college scam.

"A hehehe ... Need support for a war? Got some outsourcing or other destruction of the working class that needs some bullshit 'free trade' justification, all warmed over with some throwaway social PC liberalism? Call me. I have a whole 'stable' of neocon warmongers and 'think tank' whores-on-the-payroll. Rates reasonable."

There was no place at the Post Pub bar for me to sit for the first few minutes, but then a place opened up -- one of the bartenders waved me over.

The only unpleasant part was one group of about five people there making too much noise, one woman in particular with that ear-piercing raucous laugh common among certain parts of the local population. I can't stand that. It was just enough to be annoying but I still had a pleasant time there, both because of Kristof and an attentive bartender.

While there, we were talking (well, I initiated it with a request to move a bar stool) to this guy named Dan. He was in the U.S. for the first time ever. He is from Wales (I forgot the town) and was here on a visit representing some agency of the Welsh Government at a conference or some such event.

I told him to just tell people he is British ("we never use that term," he replied). I drew him a map of the main parts of Northwest D.C. where he would be visiting and highlighted Adams-Morgan and the U Street Corridor. (He wasn't a 17th Street sort.)

Oh, and I begged him to leave his government credit card -- with its stylized Red Dragon (actually, it looked more orange) on a green and white backdrop that is design the Welsh flag and "Welsh Government" as name -- in his hotel room ("in the Gideon Bible") if he went out. That would be someone's winning lottery ticket before he could cancel it.

He bought Kristof and me a drink before he left.

I walked home and rested for a while, nearly falling asleep, before going back out to Nellie's.

Here is an image from last Sunday at Nellie's in the post-Capital Pride crowd there, June 10, 2012.

I spent much too much money yesterday. Had my dad not sent me the $300 for the airline ticket to visit him next month down in Florida, I would not have been able to spend nearly as much this pay period since I paid my June rent last week. I will buy the airline ticket next week when I get my next paycheck.

As for tonight, I was thinking of walking over to the Rivers at the Watergate restaurant since it is Saturday night and there is a piano player in the bar area. Later on, I'll probably go to Nellie's.

Nellie's upstairs deck crowd scene, Washington, D.C., 6:54PM, June 10, 2012.

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Watergate Scandal 40th Anniversary

Aerial view of the Watergate Complex. This image that I found online was taken during a downriver approach into DCA in Jan. 2006.

Speaking of the Waterage, tomorrow is the 40th anniverary of the second of the two burglaries at the Watergate Complex, in particular, in the old Democratic National Committee headquarters that once occupied the Watergate Hotel and Office Building, and the one that resulted in the arrests that initiated the whole scandal.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in The Washington Post newsroom circa 1973.

I'm not even going to get into this -- except to say that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were less investigative sleuths than conduits for strategic leaking by the different players in ongoing Federal investigations and Woodward's never-ending self-mythologizing from his WaHoPo perch is mostly bullshit.

Bob "Upshur" (yes, that's his middle name) Woodward was then as he would always be -- a willing conduit of leaks for and hence a tool of those in power whose ass at any given time he is kissing.

Pres. Nixon's resignation speech, Aug. 9, 1974

If Watergate had never happened, I suspect American history by this point would have been quite different because Nixon would have remained president until Jan. 1977 and Jimmy Carter would likely not have won to Gerald Ford (had Ford in fact run). Moving forward, Reagan possibly would not have been elected in 1980 and who knows how differently (probably noticeably better) things would be by now. The Bush 43 Disaster would never have happened.

OK, that's about all for now. I am in a hurry to get ready so I don't have time to check for typos right now.  I'll do that later.  My next planned update will be on Monday night / early Tuesday.

Updated 11:50PM 6/18/2012: I was going to post a new entry tonight but had a busy, socially pleasant evening. I will try again tomorrow night to update this blog.

--Regulus

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