City Desk

“Everything Here Is Negotiable”

As of last night, the Washington Post has tightened its policy on the sharing of drafts after one of its reporters, Daniel de Vise, showed a version of a story he was writing to some of its subjects. "Everything here is negotiable," de Vise wrote to a spokesperson at the University of Texas. But that's apparently a credo, Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli insists, that the paper's brass does not endorse.

Too bad! No journalist is infallible, and 100 out of 100 times, the source is just as concerned as we are with nailing down the truth. In fact, if the Post had shared more of its drafts with sources over the years, just imagine how the paper's coverage might have looked.

And in case you can't, we did:

FBI Finds Nixon Aides Did Not Sabotage Democrats

By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

FBI agents have not established that the Watergate bugging incident stemmed from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of President Nixon’s re-election and directed by officials of the White House and the Committee for the Re-election of the President.

The activities, according to information in FBI and Department of Justice files, were aimed at all the major Democratic presidential contenders and — since 1971 — represented a basic strategy of the Nixon re-election effort. But according to the White House, those files are wrong.

During their Watergate investigation, federal agents thought they had established that hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nixon campaign contributions had been set aside to pay for an extensive undercover campaign aimed at discrediting individual Democratic presidential candidates and disrupting their campaigns.

In fact, White House aides said, the FBI had it all completely backward. "The Democrats sabotaged themselves," one senior administration official said. "George McGovern? Come on."

Mitt Romney’s Prep School Classmates Recall Pranks, but Also Troubling Incidents That Were Not the Fault of Mitt Romney

By Jason Horowitz

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed inability to pay for a haircut. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Lauber wasn’t having it.

“I can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at me!” an incensed Lauber said, according to Romney and several campaign proxies.

A few days later, a classmate of Romney entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Lauber marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to make Romney cut Lauber’s hair. In a nearby room they came upon Romney, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Romney, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Lauber repeatedly asked him to cut his hair with a pair of scissors.

Former Mayoral Candidate Sulaimon Brown Says He Was Only Promised a Job Interview, Denied Cash Payments

By Nikita Stewart

Former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown told The Washington Post that he requested and received the promise of a job interview last summer with the campaign of Mayor Vincent C. Gray that was in no way related to Brown's attacks on incumbent Adrian M. Fenty.

Brown, who was recently dismissed from his $110,000-a-year position with the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance, also says that two Gray campaign aides repeatedly denied his requests for a series of cash payments to help finance his campaign.

In an interview Saturday, Gray said that Brown's allegations sound reasonable and that he fully expects this matter to be put to bed.

"I am looking forward to several successful and scandal-free years as the mayor of the District of Columbia," Gray said.

Pearls Before Breakfast
Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Yes.

By Gene Weingarten

HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin.

Instantly, he was spotted.

“I did too know that was Joshua Bell!” said the average Metro commuter.

Founding Farmers Review
4 stars

By Tom Sietsema

Massive jars of carrots, tomatoes and corn make a farm-to-table impression at the entrance, where guests can hang their wraps on tree-shaped coat stands. And judging from the credo on the back of its menu, Founding Farmers begs to be viewed as the most conscientious restaurant around. The menu is printed on recycled paper, only wild, line-caught or sustainably farmed fish are offered.

Everything I've eaten in this urban barn of a restaurant represents what I'd call mindful eating. "Flatbread" translates as baguette slices that are perfectly warmed, topped with salami that's thick in size and flavor. Skewered candied bacon is crispy and sweet and the sticky chicken wings don't need any additional seasoning to make them palatable. It requires grit to not scarf down the shrimp and grits – plentiful with shrimp. A seafood delight called the "showstopper" – built with tender lobster, crispy battered fish, a heap of noodles and a delicious tomato broth – brings lunch to a halt for all the right reasons. Hanger steak dappled with chimichurri wins the kitchen additional points for cooking the meat the way I ask.

The service is superb, and the pacing is spot on; expect to get your entrees after you finish your starters. Founding Farmers, which has a spinoff in Potomac, upholds even more crowd-pleasing principles: Cocktails should be well-made and cookie plates should fit in snickerdoodles, macaroons, gooey chocolate chip cookies and a peanut butter-flavored treat.

At my last happy meal in the light-filled, acoustically pleasant dining room near the World Bank, I compared Founding Farmers to "The Hunger Games," the colossal box office success. My ecstatic companion put a finer point on it: "No hunger, no games.'" Agreed.

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