Wonk'd: Slim Pickings in the Summertime
Wonk'd special "phoning it in" August editions including sightings by readers of famous-for-D.C. types spotted outside of D.C. Please send yours to . Also accepting riffs on whatever it is you do see in these nearly empty streets of summer.
In this issue: Jim Leach, an absence of Carville, Baker, Kessebaum, Coulter, Powell, hearing "Hit the Road, Jack" outside the FBI building, McAuliffe.
• Everyone's favorite Moderate-Republican-The-Nutjobs-Can-Depend-On-When-The-Chips-Are-Down Jim Leach (R-IA) is a regular at my local Hy Vee grocery store. If you think he dresses dowdy in the DIstrict, at home it's wrinkled LL Bean circa 1988. Next time I see him I'll make sure I get in line behind him and report on the contents of his cart!
• I appreciate your posting James Carville sightings, as I find them useful in a 'places I should avoid' sort of way. (No, he did not kill my puppy; however, he did snub my two beautiful dogs to fawn all over some ratty ankle biter, but that's beside the point.) You see, I have determined that Carville is the harbinger of misfortune in my little world. Each time I pass him running on the GW Parkway (Alexandria), something horrible happens. Shortly after my first sighting, my car spontaneously combusted. After the second sighting, some rat bastard crashed into my new car. (This was in the span of a few weeks mind you.) There have been other such sightings, though the misfortunes have not been as great as the first two so I will not bother you with details. I haven't seen him lately, and I hope to keep it that way. The continued help of you and the Wonkette readers is greatly appreciated. [Whatever you say, Mr. Novak.]
• My family was recently visiting relatives near Knoxville, Tennessee and at the airport we ran into former senator Howard Baker, who was apparently picking up his wife, former senator Nancy Kassebaum. They both looked great and Baker, who’s turning 80 this year, seemed very relaxed as he pressed the flesh with passers-by. As die-hard Democrats, we couldn’t decide whether to go shake his hand or not. On the one hand, Baker hearkens back to an era when Republicans were much more statesmanlike and less partisan than they are today—and he did serve admirably on the Watergate committee. On the other hand, he was part of the current Evil Empire, serving as Ambassador to Japan in W’s first term. It was quite a dilemma. In the end, we just couldn’t shake the hand of anyone who’d been part if this administration. We ended up just smiling and nodding, and he smiled and nodded back.
• Saw Ann Coulter having lunch at the Caucus Room on Tuesday about 1:00. I’ve never seen someone so frighteningly skinny in all of my life. And who has the nerve to go off of the special menu on restaurant week?!?
• A couple of weeks ago, Colin Powell was in front of me in line at a McLean CVS. Not that exciting in and of itself, but he was buying 4 (yes, 4) bottles of Head & Shoulders shampoo. The guy must have a mad case of dandruff. He was wearing a pink-ish polo and shorts.
• As I was walking from my home at 6th and D yesterday, I walked past the FBI building. Passing by its cold, gray, buttressed, forbidding exterior--the FBI building should have some sobriquet like "The Gray Lady" or the "The Iron Maiden" or the "Big, Ugly, Imposing Building Across From Au Bon Pan, to indicate its closed off, locked down, don't mess with me presence--the sounds of the Ray Charles’ recording of "Hit The Road Jack" were blasting--and I mean blasting--from somewhere inside the building.
Examining the building, I attempted to determine why. It was just as gray as ever. There were no streamers on the outside. No dancing could be observed. As I came to the corner of Constitution and 8th, there were, as there always are, two guards stationed in front of the building. I smiled at the closest one and asked her “Where's it coming from?” (meaning “where within the building"). “From inside” she said. Irritated and protective. Perhaps I might be a terrorist planning an R’ n’ B based soul assault. “What's going on?” I asked, pleasantly, using a tone that suggested that I was merely a patriotic citizen, simply interested in the ongoing process of my Government–which I suppose I was..
“It's a function” she said--conveying very clearly--as might be conveyed if I were asking "Why are all those men with flamethrowers marching down Constitution Avenue?" that I shouldn't--shouldn't--be asking.
Why? Was this the song selection party for the next wearing down of prisoners at Abu Gharib? Were they pumping up personnel for the upcoming removal of detainees from Guantanamo? Somehow, the purpose of playing the upbeat, finger-popping 1961 blues shuffle into the Washington air had become “classified”. Maybe the FBI Intelligence "Company" was looking for the secret of Ray Charles’ “genius”, which, after all, company loves.
• Just saw Terry McAuliffe with the 2 kids (who were running in the street, btw) at 15th & I street prompting the question "Isn't DC done with him yet?" Apparently Mr. Even-Money-Won't-Help-Me-Win still thinks he's relevant. Cute.