Author Archive for Mark Athitakis

Can You Stand a Few More Photos of Folks Celebrating on U Street?

Of course you can. Black Plastic Bag contributor Brandon Wu has a great batch of images up on his Flickr page.

Maryland Slots Vote: Tightening!

Maybe! Maryland is a confusing place! Anything could happen! The Gazette reports:
"We've always believed the Maryland public was quite malleable on slots," [political consultant G. Keith] Haller said. "There was never really a solid majority for support for slots, even when you added all the inducements. I wouldn't be surprised if it wound up nip [...]

Ralph Nader Makes Last-Ditch Effort to Acquire a Sense of Humor

On MSNBC, via Wonkette, Ralph Nader ended his presidential campaign today by hosting a press conference at which the long-time advocate for public disclosure gave one-word answers to every question he was asked. It's the kind of terseness you usually see only at pointless award ceremonies, and apparently it comes in handy at the end [...]

Will Black Turnout Matter in the Slots Vote?

In the days leading up to the election, conventional wisdom has dictated that Maryland slots are pretty much a done deal—a poll conducted by the Washington Post last month found that 62 percent of likely voters support the proposed amendment to the state constitution. But there's a some confusion about how much support slots has. [...]

P.G. County Update

My digital camera picked a very excellent day to die its last. Just as I snapped a photo of a very long line outside Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School in Cheverly, Md.—one of two very long lines, in fact—my camera's power button decided to go on the fritz. So, to get an idea of what [...]

GMU Students Hoaxed Via E-Mail About Election Date

From TPM:
Hackers broke into the email account of the George Mason University provost in Virginia, early this morning and sent out the following email:
Subject: Election Day Update To the Mason Community:
Please note that election day has been moved to November 5th. We apologize for any inconvenience this [...]

A Children’s Garden of Overheated Maryland Slots Rhetoric

As one of City Paper's Maryland staffers, much of the political noise broadcast on my TV set and left hanging on the front doorknob of my house involves Question 2—the referendum about whether slots should be permitted in Maryland. It's as divisive an issue as any in this election: The Washington Post has come down [...]

Studs Terkel RIP

Studs Terkel, radio host, oral historian, indefatigable promoter of Labor Day, and author of one of the best books ever written about American life, died today. He was 96. A brief obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times has this nice summation:

"He had a very full, eventful and sometimes tempestuous life ," said his son Dan. "It [...]

“Doonesbury” Calls it For Obama

The Post's very excellent comics blog, Comic Riffs, has the scoop on Garry Trudeau filing a strip for next Wednesday assuming an Obama win. He has a replacement strip ready just in case, but whatever:
Trudeau tells Comic Riffs today: "If I didn't call the election, I'd have no premise for the week and be forced [...]

“Arabian Sights” Closing This Weekend

In the quest for better understanding between the West and the Middle East, a film like Captain Abu Raed, which shows during Filmfest DC's "Arabian Sights" series this weekend, proves that if nothing else America doesn't have a monopoly on feel-good fare. Amin Matalqa's film stars Nadim Sawalha as Abu Raed, an introverted, aging man [...]

Another Local Bookstore Casualty in the Making?

It's been a thoroughgoingly crappy year for local booksellers—first Karibu, then Olsson's. Now Vertigo Books, which moved from Dupont Circle to College Park in 2001 2000, has posted a plea for help to its customers:
Why are we struggling? It may be a perfect storm:
* Market forces have not been kind to [...]

Joe the Plumber Has a Flack

So much for being tired of media scrutiny. (Click the image to expand it.)

Twitter Is Gonna Get Us All Killed

That's according to an Army intelligence report, which says that terrorists are using the microblogging service to communicate with each another.
Fox 5 News has announced that it's working on a story about this. Via Twitter.

Rhetorical Cock-Up at

As we've noted before here, the folks at, an online company owned the same folks who drop the Examiner on doorstops without asking in D.C. and a few other cities, recently launched a program where folks like you can blog for (a little) pay. A tipster passed along a story in which one of [...]

Palestinian Rappers Sunday on E Street

Filmfest DC's "Arabian Sights" festival, which kicks off tonight with 33 Days, continues through the weekend at Goethe-Institut Washington and the E Street Cinema. Closing out the Sunday schedule is Slingshot Hip-Hop, a documentary about Palestinian rappers. Jackie Shalloum spends time with a host of MCs but mainly centers on DAM, a trio living and [...]