Tag Archives | Washington D.C.

Symbolic? Washington Monument Cracks in Quake

Washington MonumentJennifer Epstein writes in the Politico:
The earthquake didn’t cause widespread damages or injuries, but it did put a crack in the Washington Monument. After unconfirmed reports suggested the monument was tilting, park officials said Tuesday night that the 550-foot obelisk suffered a crack in the 5.8-magnitude rumble centered in Mineral, Va., near Charlottesville. Inspections conducted by helicopter found a crack “at the very, very top” of the monument, park service spokesman Bill Line told The Washington Post, and the monument and plaza surrounding the structure will be closed indefinitely as it is examined. Though it suffered damage, the monument isn’t leaning, the Park Service said. The Park Service has also temporarily closed the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial pending further inspection, while other landmarks — including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial set to be officially unveiled this weekend — remain open.
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Arrested For Dancing at the Jefferson Memorial (Video)

Jefferson Memorial DancerI wonder how Thomas Jefferson would have felt about this. Via the Huffington Post:
The dancers were protesting an appeals court ruling handed down last week that the national monuments are places for reflection and contemplation — and that dancing distracted from such an experience. In 2008, Mary Brooke Oberwetter and a group of friends went to the Jefferson to commemorate the president's 265th birthday by dancing silently, while listening to music on headphones. Park Police ordered the revelers to disperse and arrested them when they did not. Oberwetter sued on free speech grounds, but the appeals court ruled last week that her conduct was indeed prohibited "because it stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration" that Park Service regulations are designed to preserve. Saturday's protest was staged during the day, on Memorial Day weekend, in order to draw maximum attention:
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The U.S. Congress Does ‘Abnormally’ Well in the Stock Market

Monopoly ManThis should be more troubling, but it feels like business as usual in Washington. Dan Foomkin writes on the Huffington Post:

Members of the House of Representatives considerably outperform the stock market in their personal investments, according to a new academic study.

Four university researchers examined 16,000 common stock transactions made by approximately 300 House representatives from 1985 to 2001, and found what they call “significant positive abnormal returns,” with portfolios based on congressional trades beating the market by about 6 percent annually.

What’s their secret? The report speculates, but does not conclude, it could have something to do with the ability members of Congress have to trade on non-public information or to vote their own pocketbooks — or both.

A study of senators by the same team of researchers five years ago found members of the higher chamber even better at beating the market — outperforming it by about 10 percent, an amount the academics said was “both economically large and statistically significant.”

Read More: Huffington Post

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Decoding Washington, DC’s Mysterious Advertising

Photo: Mission Essential Personnel/WSJ

Photo: Mission Essential Personnel/WSJ

I recently visited Washington, DC, to meet up with Robert Bauval, co-author of the next book that disinformation will be publishing, The Master Game: Unmasking The Secret Rulers Of The World. We went on a mini-tour of the city with Robert interpreting the symbology of many famous structures such as the Washington Monument and the House of the Temple. (We’ll be releasing some video footage that we shot there soon.)

We noticed another set of mysterious signs around the city, far more modern, that require an insider’s knowledge to understand them, and as luck would have it, Thomas Catan reports on them now for the Wall Street Journal:

This city is different; you just have to look at the side of a bus to see that.

Every day in the nation’s capital, commuters and visitors stare at ads in subway cars, on buses or on mobile billboards, unable to figure out what they mean.

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Did Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Restore Sanity?

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Photo: (C) Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

No doubt the our two revered political comedians will be sparring for weeks to come with Glenn Beck over whose rally drew more people, but for now, let’s focus on what, if anything, they actually achieved. New York Magazine does a round up:

So what happened? Well:

People wore costumes. “One man wore only a diaper and a sombrero, and carried a large wooden anchor — a depiction of ‘an anchor baby,’ the name conservative talk show hosts have given to children born in the United States to immigrant parents … Some people donned faux Tea Party costumes, while others dressed as Harry Potter characters, robots and space aliens.” [NYT, NYDN]

Celebrities showed up. The tally, thus far: The Roots, John Legend, Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, R2-D2, Cat Stevens, and Ozzy Osbourne. [Caucus/NYT, Gawker, Daily Intel]

The signs were creative.

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The ‘Government Doesn’t Suck’ March

Govloop

Govloop

Enough with the marches already! Ed O’Keefe reports on yet another march on Washington, for the Washington Post:

Amid growing dissatisfaction with federal employees, a group of younger, web-savvy feds are planning to march on Saturday in defense of their coworkers on the sidelines of Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”

Organizers of the “Government Doesn’t Suck March” (their choice of words, not ours) were inspired in part by last week’s Washington Post poll that revealed widespread negative perceptions of federal workers.

“We hear it day in and day out: the government sucks, federal employees are lazy and their positions are redundant,” said march organizer Steve Ressler, founder of GovLoop, a social networking Web site for public servants.

“It’s time to turn the tables and remind the world that government employees just happen to be people — people that don’t suck,” Ressler said in a message sent to The Federal Eye on Sunday announcing the march.

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Interviews From Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” Rally

The recent rally led by Glenn Beck brought together an interesting assortment of characters, and with them ideas. The New Left Media recorded various interviews with some of the attendees. More interesting than what bizarre claims they make, most had wrong or speculated information, yet not a single person cited a source from where their information was coming from. Of course except the one women who receives her immigration "facts" from her sister.
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Police Use Software To Predict Criminals – Before They Commit Crimes

DistrictofColumbiaMPBig Brother beckons … report from ABC News:

New crime prediction software being rolled out in the nation’s capital should reduce not only the murder rate, but the rate of many other crimes as well.

Developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the software is already used in Baltimore and Philadelphia to predict which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder and to be murdered.

In his latest version, the one being implemented in D.C., Berk goes even further, identifying the individuals most likely to commit crimes other than murder.

If the software proves successful, it could influence sentencing recommendations and bail amounts.

“When a person goes on probation or parole they are supervised by an officer. The question that officer has to answer is ‘what level of supervision do you provide?'” said Berk.

It used to be that parole officers used the person’s criminal record, and their good judgment, to determine that level.

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