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Big Daddy

Big Daddy2

Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, July 7, 2011

Gnome at the Capitol

Gnome2

This sympathetic little gnome was absolutely the only person I saw anywhere around the Capitol who looked the least bit worried, while Republicans were flushing the last remains of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal down the toilet of greed and bullshit economics.

Brocade

Brocade2

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC, July 14, 2011

Winners and Losers

W4

Almost all of us are losing the game that Congress and Obama are playing in the White House, but thousands of winners are swarming through offices and committee rooms all over Capitol Hill.

US 301 South of Washington DC

US 301-E

US 301 South of Washington DC

Silence of the Lambs

Lafayette Park July 14 2011
Lafayette Park, Washington DC, July 14, 2011

In the White House Obama and his Republican playmates were busily selling out Medicare, Social Security, and every remnant of environmental and financial regulation, and meanwhile across the street in Lafayette Park there wasn’t so much as a whisper of protest, and likewise on the National Mall and around the Capitol.  

Budget

Budget-B

Budget Negotiations, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC, July 13, 2011

Train

Train5

Metro Center, Washington DC, July 11, 2011

Brutalism and Decay at the FBI

FBI5

The British architects Alison and Peter Smithson coined the term “brutalism” in 1953, from the French b├ęton brut, or “raw concrete”, a phrase used by Le Corbusier to describe the poured board-marked concrete with which he constructed many of his post-World War II buildings. The term gained wide currency when the British architectural critic Reyner Banham used it in the title of his 1966 book, The New Brutalism: Ethic or Aesthetic?

The headquarters of the FBI at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue is probably the most impressive example of brutalist architecture in Washington DC, and every aspect of it expresses the brute force of government in the Twenty-first Century, except for a vast expanse of netting which completely swaddles the top two floors.

“Why is all that netting up there?” I asked a cop on guard at the exit of the parking ramp, and he said…

“To keep the building from falling on your head.”

“And who would I ask if I wanted a serious answer to that question?”

“That is a serious answer,” said the cop. “The building is crumbling, and chunks of concrete were falling on the sidewalk.”

“Thank you, officer, and I’m sorry for doubting you,” I replied, and maybe I could have eventually figured it out for myself, but now I have a source.  

Median Net Worth of Black Households: $2,200

The median net worth of black households was $2,200 in 2009, the lowest ever recorded, while the median net worth among white households was $97,900, or 44.5 times that of black households. Finally, from 2007 to 2009, average black wealth declined by 37%, compared to 28% for white wealth over the same time period.

So for every dollar of net worth in a white household, a typical black household has 2¢, and while white unemployment has recovered slightly from the bottom of our ongoing recession, black unemployment remains above 16%.

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White unemployment

BLS1
Black unemployment

Shaken Child at the White House

SC4For this toddler the White House fence is just another jungle-gym, but for her father it’s a Very Important Location, so when the child simply would not stop running around in his picture, he picked her up and shook her.

Shaken baby injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old but may be seen in children up to the age of 5. Shaken baby syndrome can occur from as little as 5 seconds of shaking. The result is a type of whiplash, similar to that seen in some auto accidents.

When an infant or toddler is shaken, the brain bounces back and forth against the skull. This can cause bruising of the brain (cerebral contusion), swelling, pressure, and bleeding in the brain.

The large veins along the outside of the brain may tear, leading to further bleeding, swelling, and increased pressure. This can easily cause permanent brain damage or death.

Shaking an infant or small child may cause other injuries, such as damage to the neck, spine, and eyes. Eye damage is very common and may result in loss of vision (retinal hemorrhage).

Three cops within 50 feet and a hundred tourists, and all of them with their eyes wide open!

“That guy shook his child,” I said to the nearest cop, and he actually looked embarrassed.

“I didn’t see it,” he said, but five minutes later when somebody put down a little white bag to take a picture, the same cop was instantly all over it, shouting “Whose bag is this?”

It might be a bomb!

It might be a bomb at a Very Important Location!

Maxine Waters – “Get the Mace!”

Maxine Waters
Maxine Waters, US Capitol, July 7, 2011

One of thirteen children, Maxine Waters was born in Kinloch, Missouri, to Remus and Velma Lee Carr Moore. She graduated from Vashon High School in St. Louis, and moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, in 1961. She worked in a garment factory and as a telephone operator before being hired as an assistant teacher with the Head Start program at Watts in 1966.

She later enrolled at Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles), and graduated with a sociology degree in 1970.

On July 29, 1994 Waters was challenged for making inappropriate remarks during a one-minute speech. She then ignored the Chair’s request to suspend speaking until the point of order was settled. Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA) rose and called out “get the Mace,” to restore order. The Chair kept pounding the gavel and finally stated, “the Chair is about to direct the Sgt-at-Arms to present the Mace!” Waters then suspended, and the Chair was able to rule on the point of order without having to resort to the Mace.

She was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 1997-98.

No other Representative has been threatened with the official Mace of the United States House of Representatives since Maxine Waters was silenced in 1994.

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