Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Marshall Brown Edition

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  • The Last Post on The W Hotel
  • Good morning sweet readers! On Fridays, LL's boss cruelly likes to ask LL what his plans are for the weekend, despite knowing full well that LL has a 3-month-old giant baby at home. Sleep, bossman, LL's plans will always be the same: to sleep. News time:

    The Marshall Brown Show: Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown's father, political operative Marshall Brown, is drawing lots of ink these days. The most notable was this quote from a story on D.C.'s changing demographics by the Post's Marc Fisher: "'The longtime white population, the people who got involved in statehood, civil rights and environmental causes, thought of this as a black city,' said Brown, who is black. 'But the new white voters aren’t involved like that. They want doggie parks and bike lanes. The result is a lot of tension. The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs. This is not the District I knew. There’s no relationship with the black community; they don’t connect at church, they don’t go to the same cafes, they don’t volunteer in the neighborhood school, and a lot of longtime black residents feel threatened.'" Brown isn't saying anything we didn't hear plenty of during the last mayoral race. Is it true? Broad generalizations based on stereotypes tend to never be true; Brown (and Fisher) don't offer a whole lot of evidence that a) previous white voters were any different in the way they thought about the city or b) new white voters only care about dogs. But it makes for a good quote. Unless, that is, you're at-large Councilmember Sekou Biddle, who is desperately going to need a lot of votes from the cafe-going, snowball-throwing, doggie-park-lovin' white residents to win. Not one but two recent stories on the at-large race point out that the Biddle campaign hired Brown. The first is the Post's state-of-race update, which puts Biddle and Vincent Orange as the two frontrunners. "Biddle, a former Ward 4 school board member, is also aggressively campaigning in majority-white neighborhoods in Northwest. A former executive director of Jumpstart for Young Children, Biddle is aligned with the city’s school-reform movement and is trying to win over voters who enthusiastically backed former schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee." The second story is an Examiner piece headlined "Biddle Can't Escape Campaign Ties to Brown." The story was talking about Kwame, but you get the idea.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Hall Takes the Fall; Government Openup; Kwame's Money...

    Gerri Takes the Fall: Post columnist Bob McCarthy isn't buying Mayor Vince Gray's former chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall's testimony. "After Hall’s painfully cautious account–riddled with “I don’t recall” moments in key places–I don’t see how Gray can ever fully dispel the suspicion that his campaign had some kind of private, untoward understanding with minor mayoral candidate Brown in last year’s race." Meanwhile, emails and Hall's testimony show that Gray confidant Lorraine Green was involved to some degree Brown's hiring and rocky time at the Department of Health Care Finance.

    The opposite of a Shutdown is a Openup: By now you know that both the District and federal government are open for business. Why? Republicans wanted Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama gave them the District's use of local dollars to fund abortions for poor people instead. "John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it," Obama apparently said.  Well, at least he wasn't happy about it. Local pols are't happy either. There's a protest tonight at 5 p.m. outside the Senate Hart office building and Mayor Gray and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton are scheduled to be there.

    Kwame's Money: The Post editorial page bashes "Fully Loaded" Brown over problems with his 2008 campaign finances. "The [Office of Campaign Finance] report shatters whatever credibility Mr. Brown had for the responsible management of money; the many still unanswered questions demand further review of his political finances." The Posties call for the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate.

    School Fixer: Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry says school reform is passing the poor parts of D.C. by and has a 7-point plan to fix the District's failing schools in poor neighborhoods. No 1.: "Assign the most experienced and proficient teachers to the lowest-performing schools."

    Watergate and Kaplan: Did everyone catch the Washington Post's story on the paper's awkward marriage to Kaplan test-prep and online schools? This line made LL feel like he needed to take a shower: "But [The Post Co. CEO Don] Graham sees no conflict between his public rallying for Kaplan and the mission of the newspaper he inherited. He says he’s defending Kaplan just as his company—and his mother, Katharine Graham—went to bat for the newspaper when it pursued the Watergate scandal or printed the Pentagon Papers, the top-secret history of the Vietnam War." LL didn't know that Woodward and Bernstein spent their spare time trying to fool poor people and veterans into taking on unreasonable amounts of student loan debt at high interest rates. LL once taught an SAT prep course for Kaplan. The teaching instructor told us, and LL is not making this us, that when searching for a word we should say "Kaplan" instead of "Umm" so as to reinforce the Kaplan brand with our students. That place was the worst. In any event, the Washington Teachers Union is planning a protest Friday at the Post because they feel like the editorial page is too pro-Kaplan.

    In Other News: Congress wins on abortion, District wins on on-line gambling?  Mayor Vince Gray is starting to look like Mayor Marion Barry, says Jonetta. Interim chief of staff Paul Quander: I didn't threaten former DOES boss Rochelle Webb. Worst part about Rhee, according to Diane Ravitch: she takes glee in the suffering of others. Post editorial board makes intellectually lazy argument against combined reporting (which CFO Nat Gandhi and budget hawk Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans both support).

    Gray sked: Gray is going to check out P.G. County's Wegman's at 10 a.m. Budget and cabinet meetings the rest of the day. At 5 p.m., the aforementioned protest.

    Council sked: Full day of hearings on DCRA, schools, pools, taxis and booze.

    • Education2way

      Education is a mixture of good teacher and the most important factor, a good support base. Where I feel that base should come from is the home, or positive influences in the community that can uplift these kids and give them something to look forward too.

      Yes, it is unfortunate that students have to learn in poor conditions and that some teachers are not making it happen but you know whats the difference in US Students vs those in other countries who come here and do very well the use of "Excuses".

      In the US, we use every excuse from the smallest irregularity to the most profound issue and use it as an excuse to not progress and treat the world as if they have bestowed upon you this fate to fail. People in other countries might be plagued with the same situations, but they take matters into their own hands and ensure that Education will be embedded into their foundation.

      Learning must take place in school, but most importantly at home. Parents have to do a better job of teaching their kids basic principles and foundations so when they go to school, they can atleast grasp concepts on their own.

      Too many times, parents don't feel like raising their children, or don't have the patience to deal with them, so they let them waste their time watching TV, or Video Games, or just outside rather than have them do things to improve their lifestyle.

      The fact that a lot of children still feel that college isn't for them, when they havent even been exposed to what college can offer is disheartening. There are opportunities to succeed, but they cannot be spoonfed to children. They must built the qualities and traits need to thirst for progression, self-improvement, and holding high their family name.

      Its much more than pointing the finger at the School System, we must take matters into our own hands to help our children succeed. And if your not up to that challenge, please practice safe sex. Its not worth bringing a child into the world if your not committed to providing them with the best development to succeed.

    • drez

      For every Marshall Brown there is a Tommy Wells.
      This of all things doesn't stress me out. One city, right?
      ...We're one, but we're not the same
      We get to carry each other...


    • EXA

      Its important for people to realize the racism of M. Brown is very well represented in the Biddle campaign / council staff. The two camps are very much the same and regularly discuss a shortsighted and anti-white agenda. While Biddle is a good guy he has foolishly surrounded himself with numerous demagoguing racists and I pray they cost him the election (ideally to Mara as Orange is probably worse).

      And to the M. Brown and his fellow racists: the dog park snowball crowd you disparage are largely young people doing what young people should do: enjoying themselves and working for a living. If you were smart you'd learn to benefit from their money and few needs regarding DC services. Your prized black youth demographic on the other hand is largely a massive drain. Chocolate City started to die during the riots of 1968 and the final nails went in during the crack wars and Mayor Barry years. If you wanted the city to remain black you should have actually purchased larger chunks of it instead of squandering the gains of the civil rights generation. Ie, its your own f'ing fault the city is changing in ways you don't like. Cry me a river and enjoy your shiny rims.

    • SEis4ME

      Ahh, the EXA the racist goes on to call Brown a racist for what he said.

      Classic! Just classic. But consistent with what we've come to expect from people of your persuasion.

    • noodlez




    • DC

      "demagoguing racists" I am Caucasian and have known Vincent Orange for years and have never found him to be racist. He suits up, he works hard, he is not a demagogue.

    • Wendy Washington

      Typo alert: "Gerri Takes the Fall: Post columnist Bob McCarthy isn't buying Mayor Vince Gray's former chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall's testimony."

      I believe the WaPo columnist's name is Bob McCartney. (I do not know if he is related to Paul McCartney -- but he spells his last name the same way.)

    • Really?

      Please EXA please explain what was racists about Marshall Brown's comments?

      Again it's little twits who have no comprehension of the history of the city beyond Barry and the control board. You think you know, but you don't have a fucking clue. This recent group of transplants would run and learn about another country, appreciate their history and respect their history, buy can’t do the same here in the place that they reside.

      First asswipe (yup breaking my rule of no personal attacks), let’s start from the top. The city has been able to “self-govern” for 35 years, maybe 36. In any history book this would be consider baby steps. But within these 35 years the city has made lighting speed changes under four Black mayors. Hence EXA we didn't govern during the riots (read a book!). Thus it would lend one to wonder before the District was able to self-govern why would Congress leave a metropolitan city like the District with strip joints and drugs and trash?

      Before the city was given the ability to “self govern” it was run by three commissioners. It was a sleepy town where “the man” in this instance congress. Didn’t give a flying fuck about the residents and it was mainly just a place where they had to live during the year. Hell even the District Government was white. One of the few jobs that most blacks could get where as maids or taking in laundry

      Damn I wasn't going to comment because it's evident that Al and the get fresh crew don't care to learn nor research anything beyond a conversation as to why folks like Marshall feel the way they do.

      So once again Really? is going to provide a history lesson on D.C. So sit and listen, especially you EXA…move to front so you can learn something.

      Once Barry was in office he was able to really integrate the District Government. With integration Blacks were able to achieve DS 11, 12, 13, 14 and become Agency heads. Thus they were able to buy large swaths of land ala (the gold coast, hillcrest, etc….). Also keep in mind that the District was responsible for financing as well as maintaining DC General and Lorton. Thus the heavy budget we had to carry with out fair compensation.

      EXA is speaking as if the type of employment is on par with what the professional blacks moving in are doing. Nope. Many were one generation from a parent cleaning toilets and taking in wash. Meaning it wasn’t much generational wealth to be passed on. Interest rates where sky high in the 80’s (think 18%), places where redline, some blacks left to create enclaves like Enterprise Estates in places like Mitchellville.

      EXA do you have clue on how hard it was to get a business loan? Do you even understand what the city looked like back then? Hell you wouldn’t be enjoying your lattes, with the yorky poo’s at the doggie parks if it was for many District residents who fought hard to clean up this city.

      What Marshall was referring to are those whites who understood the plight that many AA’s endured under this city and were willing to work to help change the District to be become more progressive and social minded about all residents.

      Marshall was referring to folks like Dave Clark (loved his wife and son), Polly Snackleton, Carol Schwartz, Gilbert Hahn, John W. Hechinger and Betty Ann Kane (those were examples for you Al!)

      So when you’re riding your trolley down H Street with your drink in hand, laughing and care free. Take a sip when you pass Benning Road. Look to your left at the shopping center and know that John Hechinger committed to trying to restore the community and he was willing to work with and not marginalized those who lived in it.