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October 21, 2014

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October 2, 2014

Take a Trip Down Baseball Memory Lane

nats park006 040113 445x297 Take a Trip Down Baseball Memory Lane

Things weren’t always so merry with Washington baseball. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the Washington Nationals open the National League Division Series on Friday, their second post-season appearance in three years, it’s easy to forget Washington baseball teams have frequently sucked.

Fred Frommer, author of “You Gotta Have Heart:  A History of Washington Baseball from 1859 to the 2012 National League East Champions,” never forgot. His book will make any Nat fan appreciate what they have now, and he’ll be discussing it at the National Archives on Friday at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater with his frequent discussion sidekick, former Senators announcer Phil Hochberg. It’s a nice way to prepare for the 3:07 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park.

Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney wrote about some of the Senators’ woeful ways in today’s Post. The upshot? To be a Senators fan back in the day, one had to have real guts. “In my childhood, the whole point of rooting for the Senators was to affirm one’s fortitude in the face of cellar-dwelling finishes. Show loyalty and optimism despite setbacks and disappointment. ‘We grew up not expecting much. That’s not a bad lesson for life,’ said Hank Thomas, 68, of Arlington, who cheered for the Senators as a child in the late 1950s,” McCartney writes.

And the first few seasons after the Montreal Expos moved here to become the Nationals were no picnic either. Remember when Nook Logan started in center field? It’s best not to.

If you can’t make it to the Archives, Fred and Phil will be live on YouTube.

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September 23, 2014

A Plea to Reject ‘Brutal Imperial Arrogance’ in Wake of White House Breach

 

HDR SunRise 3 091707 445x223 A Plea to Reject Brutal Imperial Arrogance in Wake of White House Breach

Recent security breaches shouldn’t compromise basic civil rights, argues Philip Kennicott. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the nation’s foremost architecture critics says Washington has already given up too much of its openness and beauty as a city and that the recent security lapse at the White House “is an institutional, organizational problem; it does not require an architectural solution.”

The argument that Philip Kennicott lays out in the Washington Post is not merely an aesthetic one, though. Rather, he notes that in cutting off access to the Supreme Court, the West Terrace of the Capitol and the White House in recent years, all in the name of security, the very pillars of representative democracy are being compromised. “The loss of public space and the intrusion of the security apparatus into daily life are not merely inconveniences. Among the most cherished symbols of democracy is openness, including direct access to our leaders. … It is not reasonable to ask a free people to continually submit to police control; doing so becomes ingrained, and when we freely submit to unreasonable searches, we lose the all-important reflexive distrust of authority that helps keep us free,” the Pulitzer Prize winning writer asserts.

Kennicott’s plea that the nation’s leaders think before stringing up barbed wire and more bollards is one that goes against the one-way trend of increasing levels of lockdown in the seat of government. Monday’s White House press briefing suggests the executive mansion’s staff is leaving things to the Secret Service, who were responsible for the breach in the first place, to decide. Kennicott reaches back to ancient Greece for his closing argument: “‘We throw open our city to the world,’ Pericles said in his Funeral Oration. We, alas, have become the descendants not of that fine and fundamental sentiment of democracy, but of the brutal imperial arrogance that corrupted the Athenian state in later years.”

If people, staffers, tourists, citizens alike, can’t literally see the beauty and good things around them in Washington, at the Supreme Court, at the Capitol, at the White House, should anyone be surprised there is distrust and disdain for the place?

Related Stories:

Congress Weighs in on White House Breach

Congress Takes Hands-Off Approach to Miriam Carey Shooting

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September 11, 2014

‘Innovative State’ Builds Case for Acting Like Adults

In the middle of a political season, with members of Congress hunkering down amid the midterm election season, it’s refreshing to pick up a book — a policy book even! — that makes the case that it’s possible to work across party lines for the common good.

Aneesh Chopra, former chief technology officer for the United States and Virginia’s former secretary of technology, writes in his book “Innovative State” that the way to go beyond the management cliches of “working smarter” and “doing more with less” is to both keep in mind that innovation has defined basic human progress and good people usually come around to good ideas, whether it’s a non-spoils civil service or digital communication.

Another valuable lesson Chopra, a proud Democrat, offers is that it’s not necessary to trade in your party identification to work effectively across party lines. Ego is another thing, presenting perhaps the biggest challenge, but not an impossible one. As an example, he ends the book with anecdote about his talking to the Congressional Future Caucus at its inaugural event about one year ago. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Aaron Schock, R-Ill., the co-chairs, prevail upon him to tell them more about “pragmatism and collaboration,” a sign that not everyone in Congress is interested in using their time in Washington to scorch the other side.

Another positive sign Chopra sees is that, despite some negative perceptions of government, the best and the brightest continue to want to work in public service. “Where it matters, on the recruiting front, I will say, it’s never been a better time to recruit people to try to solve the big problems. It’s an incredible group of people,” Chopra told CQ Roll Call, saying the quality of resumes you see for people lining up to work on Capitol Hill and the adminstration is an extremely hopeful sign and one of the first steps to having government “deliver world class service” to the people it represents.

Meanwhile, Gabbard and Schock are fast friends to this day. Another example to add to the list is a story from CQ Roll Call’s own Emma Dumain and Lauren Gardner, whose story in Thursday’s Roll Call details how Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., are working together on climate change, an issue that has cut along partisan lines for years. Along the Southern border, Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Steve Pearce, R-N.M., are working together, much to the chagrin of their leaders.

In the partisan garden, a few pragmatic weeds seem to be stubbornly clinging on.

Roll Call Book Club returns on Sept. 16 at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital with Aneesh Chopra to discuss his book. The free event starts at 6 p.m. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and includes a free book, beverages and snacks. To register, go to our spot on Eventbrite.

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September 5, 2014

A Welcome Back Calendar

Short Cuts

The DC Shorts Film Festival starts on Sept. 11, showcasing an international slate of 150 short-length films in 90-minute blocks through Sept. 21. Close-in venues like the Atlas Performing Arts Center at 1333 H St. NE and Landmark’s E Street Theater at 555 11th St. NW will host shows, but so will further flung ones like the Angelika Film Center and Cafe Mosaic in Fairfax, Va., and the Anacostia Arts Center across the river from Capitol Hill. For a full run-down of films, go to dcshorts.com.

The (Ken) Russell Building

The Library of Congress is in the middle of screening a series of the late Ken Russell’s films, and it’s a great bunch focused on music, laced with Russell’s trademark kinkiness and bathed in the peculiarity of the 1970s. On Sept. 12, the library screens 1970′s “The Music Lovers,” the story of Tchaikovsky’s marriage. A chamber piece this is not, as it focuses on the composer’s attempt to distance himself from his homosexuality, only to have it backfire when he marries a nymphomaniac. It’s a rarely screened part of Russell’s body of work, showing at 7 p.m. at the Pickford Theater on the third floor of the library’s James Madison Building on Independence Avenue. On Sept. 19, the Pickford shows Russell’s 1975 “Tommy,” the filmmaker’s adaptation of The Who’s rock opera starring Roger Daltrey, Jack Nicholson, Ann Margaret, Elton John and just about anyone tripped out from the ’70s music scene.

An Innovative Discussion

Not to jump too far ahead, but Roll Call Book Club returns on Sept. 16 at Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, where we’ll sit down with Aneesh Chopra to discuss his book “Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government.” Chopra, the first-ever chief technology officer of the United States, takes a tack most fear to these days: Extolling the good government can do in paving the way for new discoveries that can benefit everyone. From the Pony Express to the Internet, there’s a record. This free event starts at 6 p.m. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE and includes a free book, beverages and snacks. To register, go to our spot on Eventbrite.

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September 3, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘Dreamland’ by Charles Bowden and Alice Leora Briggs

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Bowden knew the border well. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Charles Bowden, the desert journalist who provided a view of America’s borderlands that was compelling, terrifying and beautiful, died on Aug. 30, leaving a legacy of dark visions and dark journeys that came together in vivid form in 2010′s “Dreamland: The Way Out of Juarez.”

The book, a collaboration of Bowden’s words and Alice Leora Briggs’ drawings, is a hybrid work of gonzo journalism, graphic expression and poetic violence that uses a harrowing incident in Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, that involved a U.S. Department of Homeland Security informant committing a brazen murder as a jumping off point to the upside down horror of the drug war in the city that shares a border with El Paso, Texas.

For Bowden, covering the border was a vocation. He submerged himself in it in a way that was uncomfortable to read, yet important and unique. His many books about the borderlands — “Desierto,” “Blood Orchid” and “Mezcal” to name a few — provided a view of the place few others were willing to go.

I met him once, having invited him in 1995 to speak at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff as part of a series related to a literary journal, “Thin Air,” that I worked on. He showed up looking like he had just arrived from the wilderness and explained that he had just found out a friend he worked with in Mexico had been murdered. Emotionally shattered, he still made the trip, and gave an incredible reading from material from his then-forthcoming book “Blood Orchid.”

Of his many books, “Dreamland” is certainly one of the strangest, its surreal images matched by surreal text. It’s a perfect tribute to an incredible writer.

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August 28, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘Soul Food’ by Adrian Miller

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: Soul Food by Adrian Miller

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Former White House aide Adrian Miller started writing his book “Soul Food, The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time,” in humble circumstances, but it wasn’t long before the James Beard Foundation Book Award winner took it to another level. “We should have soul food in space,” he said of a sit-down he’d had with folks about NASA.

Many forms of soul food do indeed taste heavenly, and whether they are bound for space travel any time soon is a topic that could be posed in person to Miller, who’s in town in Washington as part of the 2014 National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown. The one-time aide for President Bill Clinton, who worked as part of 42′s Initiative for One America before heading to Colorado to work for the Bell Policy Center and later as a senior policy aide for Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, decided to write the book almost on a lark.

At the end of Ritter’s term of office, Miller said to himself, “You know, I’m just going to go for it,” and cashed in his retirement to buy himself time and resources to research and write about his passion: a truly American food that is itself a melting pot story, a misunderstood part of our culture and a vanishing tradition. “I’m a risk averse person. It probably wasn’t the best financial decision, but I’ve never been happier,” he said.

The Beard award was “totally unexpected,” he said, and has given him and his work a level of appreciation that many books published by university presses (in this case The University of North Carolina Press) don’t enjoy. It’s an important topic as well, as it touches on issues ranging from nutrition, race and disappearing culture. Driving home the point about soul food’s endangered status, two of the local D.C. establishments I wanted to recommend to Miller for his trip to the capital city — The Rib Pit and Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish — are no longer around, and it hadn’t been too long since I’d visited each.

Miller, who is now executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, speaks as part of the Culinary Arts pavilion from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday at the convention center. He’ll be signing copies of “Soul Food” from 11 a.m. to noon.

August 6, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘Watergate’ by Thomas Mallon

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: Watergate by Thomas Mallon

Drink in this rich fictional history of Watergate. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“Watergate,” a novel by Thomas Mallon, is a hoot, a fictional interpretation of the political saga that ended the presidency of Richard M. Nixon and irrevocably altered the lives of those around him, not to mention the American political system.

Mallon, who can see the infamous office and residential complex easily from his perch as director of the George Washington University creative writing program in Foggy Bottom, has a boatload of honors and credits to his career as a novelist, essayist and academic. In “Watergate,” though, he takes it all to another level in giving voice to everyone from Nixon to first lady Pat to break-in perps E. Howard Hunt, Committee to Re-Elect the President chiefs John Mitchell and Fred LaRue to forgotten ghosts of Washington’s past like Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

Witness Pat Nixon desperately avoiding a drunk Martha Mitchell at a Hollywood fundraiser, or the president groaning in his sleep in Moscow, freaking out the eavesdropping KGB agents, or Hunt’s aggrieved anxiety in the aftermath of a botched black bag job he wanted no part of but nevertheless went through with anyway.

It’s those individuals, and Mallon’s ability to make us empathize with each and every one of them, that gives this novel a unique place in the canon of Watergate history. With the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s Aug. 9 resignation almost upon us, this is a critically acclaimed book worth adding to the reading list.

July 30, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘The Final Days’ by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

If “All The President’s Men” is about the chase, the follow-up by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, “The Final Days” is about the long, slow, bleeding out and death of the hunted. A denser, complicated, multi-layered, sad descent into resignation, both literal and figurative, the recounting of the last few months of President Richard M. Nixon’s presidency is a master telling of the slog of a White House staff who knows that time is running out.

“[Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler] was exasperated. He only wanted the President to understand how dire things were, to recognize the hard choices fast closing in on him. But the President would not even accept the meaning of the words on the tapes and refused to believe that his lawyers were acting in his interest,” they write.

It’s just one of scores of examples of the sclerotic intransigence that gripped the Nixon White House in its final days. At the center of it is White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, the man in charge of the sinking ship, and White House special counsels for Watergate James D. St. Clair and J. Fred Buzhardt.

It’s a fascinating read, and an important, if quirky and somewhat neglected, part of the Watergate canon.

 

July 23, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘Overwhelmed’ by Brigid Schulte

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte

Amid the clutter, try not to get “Overwhelmed.” (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“I’m a work in progress myself,” Bridgid Schulte, the author of “Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time,” says. The Washington Post scribe is well aware of the pressure people are under, because she lives the same D.C. vida loca.

“Different groups want to talk about different things. But the big things, everyone wants to talk about,” she says, singling out that “busyness is a huge thing people want to talk about.”

Schulte is quick to point out her book is not all doom and gloom, with busy people all ending up with smaller brains because they’re stressing themselves to death. She details bright spots both domestic and foreign, whether it’s flex-time at the Pentagon or a cultural watershed in Denmark.

She says the biggest change between the time she began the book and when she finished were her own expectations about what she could accomplish, what she could blow off and what she could share. “I’m still working on it,” she says.

What about life in Washington, D.C., where what she dubs the cycle of responsiveness is particularly acute? She encourages people to do their best to change the culture of where they work and how they live. If it’s not a situation where the culture can readily change, to consider changing oneself. This might mean some emails don’t get returned late at night, which is probably OK. Consider what’s a priority and what isn’t. Most of the time, expectations come from within, not a boss or spouse.

Perhaps we could all benefit from taking a page from another book, Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Rule No. 1, you may recall is simple: Don’t panic.

“I do take time to step out of the craziness,” Schulte says. “I really try to just be where I am.”

Sounds like a good Rule No. 2.

Schulte drops by the Roll Call Book Club on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Complimentary copies of the book are available first-come, first-served. Register for the event, sponsored by Hooks Books Events and Sprint, at roll.cl/schultebookclub.

July 18, 2014

Roll Call Book Club: We’re Here to Make Sure You’re Not ‘Overwhelmed’

Theoretically, we still have the same 24 hours in a day our grandparents and their grandparents had. But it sure doesn’t feel like it. We’re “busy, busy, busy,” as the late, great Kurt Vonnegut Jr., wrote.

A city such as Washington is filled with strivers and striving, filling every conceivable moment with constructive, career-related activity. But that sense of compressed time is not just the purview of places like Washington. People have their hair on fire in Fargo, N.D., too, as Brigid Schulte tells it in her new book “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.” The problem, she writes, is spreading as we divvy up our days into a thousand pieces.

So what’s a person to do if they’d like to live a fulfilling life but still feel like they have enough time to shower in the morning and read the occasional book? Schulte will discuss just that, and her book and the research and, ahem, time that went into it on Wednesday at the latest Roll Call Book Club.

Some of the more eye-opening nuggets from Schulte’s book include studies that show that being pressed for time can actually make us dumber, by shrinking the prefrontal cortex of our brain; that Pat Buchanan, after helping sink a universal child care bill while in the Nixon White House, never had kids, and that “rough-and-tumble play” can actually make us smarter. She also delves into why — far from there being something rotten in the state of Denmark — the Danes are the happiest people on the planet.

One big note of appreciation for the book is its embrace of the finite nature of our lives. This isn’t always the cheeriest of topics, and you could probably hear book agents and publicists thinking to themselves, “can’t she lay off the we’re-all-going-to-die stuff?” — but it’s a necessary, bracing reminder of what’s a stake in our busy-busy-business.

“Whey we die, the e-mail in-box will still be full. The to-do list will still be there. But you won’t,” Schulte quotes Terry Monaghan, a time management and organizational expert, as telling a group of people looking to find a way out of what Schulte dubs “The Overwhelm.”

Things get under way at 6 p.m. and will run until about 7:30 at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Complimentary copies of the book will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and Schulte will be on hand to sign them. Heck, we’ll even feed you and provide something to drink. To register, go to roll.cl/schultebookclub.

July 16, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: ‘National Pastime’ by Barry Svrluga

 Roll Call After Dark Book of the Week: National Pastime by Barry Svrluga

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Baseball’s All-Star Game break provides us with a respite from the churn of the 162-game regular season, as well as an opportunity to check out a great baseball book, Barry Svrluga’s “National Pastime.”

The Washington Nationals are in first place in the National League East at the break, a nice position for a team that was up-and-down and replete with injuries at the beginning of the season. Amid a so-far successful current season, last year’s winning season (which saw the team miss the playoffs) and 2012′s dynamic division-winning team, it’s worth remembering that the Nats’ first year in the District was anything but auspicious.

There was no owner. The team’s transitional home, RFK Stadium, was barely ready for prime time. The team was a collection of injured or unproven or washed-up players. The staff had almost completely turned over from the team’s previous year iteration in Montreal as the Expos. The manager was a crank. And yet, the team finished 51-30 at the halfway point and contended for a playoff spot deep in September before ending the season 81-81.

Svrluga, a Washington Post sports reporter, was there from soup to nuts, covering the last-minute glitch in negotiations with the District Council that almost caused the deal to move the Expos to D.C. to crater, all the way to the last homestead against the Philadelphia Phillies. The writing is briskly paced and has an eye toward the human story that went with the business story.

It’s also a great reminder that the Nationals’ current success on the field and with the city — as the area around Nationals Park fills up with breweries, condos and bike lanes — were never guaranteed in those rough-hewn first days at RFK.

June 18, 2014

Which Koch Brother Wanted to Date Marla Maples?

Do you know which Koch brother wanted to date Marla Maples, but thought better of it after Donald Trump picked her up?

How about which Koch brother donned a “Captain Koch” costume at the Wichita Gridiron Club?

Do you know which Koch brother wrote a play that provided source material for the film “Shakespeare in Love?”

How about which Koch brother opened up a bookstore, a John Birch Society bookstore?

Did you even know there were four Koch brothers? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., only talks about two of them, Charles and David, while leaving Bill and Frederick largely out of the equation.

Mother Jones Senior Editor Daniel Schulman tells the tale of the K-Bros masterfully in his new book “Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty,” and he’ll drop by Roll Call Book Club on Thursday night to discuss not just the history of the Koch family and its behemoth Koch Industries, but the people behind it.

Be prepared. These folks play hard ball, especially with one another for control of a vast enterprise. How else to explain the Koch brother who subpoenaed his own mother, after she’d had a stroke, to testify in a lawsuit?

Drop by our free event at Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, starting at 6 p.m. Wine, snacks and books included. Register at Hill Center’s website.

June 15, 2014

Congressional Women’s Softball Game Highlights a Busy Week

Think it’s going to be a busy week in the Capitol, what with a full legislative calendar and House leadership elections? There’s just as much going on in the outside-work calendar, including a throw-down between members of Congress and the media and a telling of the Koch brothers’ tale.

softball048 062613 445x307 Congressional Womens Softball Game Highlights a Busy Week

Bendery, in a non-trash talking moment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 6th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game is Wednesday night, and the trash talk is flying, including a radio “Softball Smackdown” featuring Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., and Huffington Post scribe Jennifer Bendery on the Bill Press Show. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Eventbrite. Proceeds benefit the Young Survival Coalition. The opening pitch is at 7 p.m. at the Watkins Recreation Center at 420 12th Street SE.

One of Washington’s high-profile film festivals, AFI Docs, gets underway Wednesday, with an opening night show at the Newseum of “Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey,” by Scott Teems. Actor Hal Holbrook, who has been portraying Mark Twain on stage for more than six decades, will be on hand to introduce the film. The festival, which as a full slate of 84 films, runs through June 22 at various venues in D.C. and Silver Spring, Md. For tickets and showtimes, visit the festival website.

Roll Call Book Club returns Thursday night, when we’ll sit down with Mother Jones Senior Editor Daniel Schulman to discuss his new book, “Sons of Wichita, How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty.” In case you don’t check in on the Senate floor every once in a while, the Koch brothers are kind of a big deal. However, the K-Bros that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made into Democrats’ bete noire, Charles and David, are only half of the brood. Schulman’s biography serves up juicy bits on the eldest, Frederick, who’s a patron of the arts, and Bill, David’s fraternal twin, an America’s Cup winner and to this day a bitter rival to Charles and David. This free event, complete with wine, cheese and a book giveaway, starts at 6 p.m. at Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Please register on Hill Center’s website ahead of time.

Friday is the day we wrap the voting for the annual Roll Call Taste of America contest. Pulling for the deep-sea heavyweight, Maine’s lobster rolls? Want to make sure Iowa bacon wraps itself in victory? Trying to make sure Maryland crab cakes scuttle to victory? Then vote at rollcalltasteofamerica.com. The winner will be announced at the following week’s 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.

June 6, 2014

Hill Center Revisits ‘Dream City’ 20 Years Later

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Barry’s “Dream City?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Twenty years ago, Washington, D.C., was a very different place, and it was artfully chronicled, from success to failure, by Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood in their seminal book, “Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C.”

Now the duo is back with a re-issued e-book version of their opus, complete with an afterward that surveys the massive changes of the last two decades, and they’ll be discussing it Monday at Hill Center. Full story

May 12, 2014

Calendar: Roll Call Book Club Scours ‘HRC’

Are you or your boss on an enemies list? It’s not as paranoid as you might think to wonder.

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Where do you stand with the Clintons? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 40 years after President Richard M. Nixon’s list of political opponents and enemies made headlines, political reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes detail an undertaking by aides to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to chronicle what they call a “political hit list”  in the aftermath of her defeat in the presidential primary to Barack Obama.

Obama, of course, went on to win the presidency and tap Clinton as his secretary of State, but political battles leave scars, particularly in the halls of power. On Thursday, the Roll Call Book Club will be back in action at the Hill Center to discuss the book, as well as to feed and water the book-hungry political masses.

“There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post, or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school,” Allen and Parnes write. The list of people with the highest ranking, compiled by Kris Balderston and Adrienne Elrod, includes such luminaries as the current secretary of State, ex-Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; the Senate President Pro Tem, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.; and House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; as well as some senior Democratic elder statesmen like Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

But that was so 2008! Think so? Just look at whom the Clintons bestowed favors upon in the 2012 election (Howdy, now-Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.!) and take a look at their current political activity. Allen, now Bloomberg News’ Washington bureau chief, and Parnes, White House correspondent for The Hill, look deeply not just at the aftermath of the 2008 election, but Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure at Foggy Bottom, with particular attention to the Benghazi, Libya, attacks, where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others were killed on Sept. 11, 2012.

Benghazi has popped up again, with Republicans in the House revving up a special committee and prepping lines of attack for 2016. Hillary Rodham Clinton has already testified on the Hill about the attacks. But this party, and the 2016 race, is just getting started, so don’t be surprised if the nascent Democratic frontrunner gets another invitation to go under the microscope again.

So there should be plenty to discuss with Allen and Parnes. Things get started around 6 p.m. on Thursday at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. It’s free, as always, and we’ll supply the food and libations as well. The authors will be there not just to discuss the book, their reporting and to answer questions, but also to sign free copies of their book on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, see the listing on EventBrite.

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