Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: One Big Harry Problem Edition

A deliberative roundup of one city's local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!


Good morning sweet readers! LL's bean is already fluent in a language he made up. Genius. News time:

One Big Harry Problem: What do we do!?! That was the theme of yesterday's closed door session as the council tried to figure out what it should do in the wake of federal agents spending Friday all up in Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.'s business. After about an hour, Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown emerged to face the TV cameras and announced, drum roll please, that he plans on sharing with Thomas some of the council's concerns. (Good luck getting Thomas on the phone.) A divided council's plan, it appears, is to ask Thomas to take a voluntary leave of absence (with pay, naturally). "Only Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) voiced objections to the suggestion that Thomas step down until the investigation is resolved." The Post says Thomas' colleagues expect Thomas will ignore their suggestion to take a hike, and Bruce Johnson says Thomas will be at today's legislative meeting, where the council may or may not pass an ethics bill. Awkward!

AFTER THE JUMP: Redskins Fever; Speak Up; Thomas the Swing Coach...

Redskins Fever: Mayor Vince Gray has a fever, a football fever. Hizzoner visited suburban Virginia yesterday to talk about how great the Redskins are and how much he wants to bring them home on Redskins Nation. Says Gray: “I’m telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, ‘Bring them back, bring them back.’ And I say, ‘Well, we are working on it.’” Gray, who attended the Redskins' meltdown on Sunday against the Jets, did not offer any critique of any Redskin players. Last year, you'll recall, he referred to one Rex Grossman as, and LL quotes: "the baloney in a sandwich."

Why Won't You Say Anything?: The Post editorial board dings the mayor and the nine councilmembers who have not publicly called on Thomas to resign. "Their silence is sadly eloquent."

In Other News:

  • Cheap Seats' author Dave McKenna once turned down free swing lessons from Harry Thomas Jr. No, not the dance kind of swing.
  • District wins special ed appeal.
  • Boss of the Downtown BID has had quite a salary increase over past few years. Union doesn't like him.
  • In praise of professional cops.
  • Jaffe compares Thomas to Barry, gets some facts wrong.
  • Ward 6 Councilmartyr Tommy Wells' book club went off without any major drama.

Gray sked: 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Father Raymond Kemp’s “The Church & the Poor” Theology Class at Georgetown; 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: D.C. Public Charter School Board Performance Management Framework Announcement; 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C. Tax Policy Committee/Legislative and Regulatory Issues Committee Joint Meeting; 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Georgetown University Hospital/MedStar Health Reception Honoring Georgetown Community Leadership; 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: H Street/Benning Road NE Streetcar Line Community Update Meeting at Atlas Performing Arts Center.

Council sked: Legislative meeting at 11 a.m. ish.

  • EnoughAlready

    I must say that I'm disheartened to see many of the comments here. I've been entertained and found many past posts by tony, Southeast Ken, NE John and even noodlez to be right on the money. Not today. There is nothing black or white about right and wrong. There is no mass racist conspiracy that enticed Thomas to divert $300K for his personal use. Does he deserve due process? Our Constitution guarantees it. Does he deserve due process while being compensated by the taxpayers from whom he stole? Absolutely not. We can't look the other way just because the long arm or justice hasn't smacked other deserving and corrupt politicians. HTJ cannot even demonstrate enough decency and respect for his constituency to step down voluntarily. He is a scumbag. But for now he is the scumbag we are stuck with. I hope this mess produces a higher level of future leaders in Ward 5.

  • Mike Madden

    @ JoshNE --

    They're auto-moderated by the WordPress system, which sometimes blocks stuff from being posted automatically for reasons we aren't really sure of. We're working on ways to improve the comments, in general; further updates as developments warrant.

  • JoshNE

    @ Mike Madden

    From what I've seen on this thread, the best way to improve the comments may be to do away with them altogether.

  • Keith B.

    nooDLez, you need to re-read what tony said and apply some reading comprehension! I give you props for at least being consistent in supporting the "get mine" attitude of politicians.

    tony says we can't cast stones because HTJ hasn't been convicted of anything. Well guess what, neither have any of the other CMs (with the exception of one hustling gent from out of town). So tony ought to take a dose of his own medicine and shut the hell up about all the politicians, of any race, until the juries comes back! These comments would be pretty quiet if we all waited that long...

  • Keith B.

    Josh NE: Some of these black-on-the-internet fakers have real self esteem issues, and the only currency they can buy rep with here is their made up stories about their pasts, qualifications or families. All we need is seDCdude to come back, call someone a coon for disagreeing with him, Rick M to post some nonsense and the circlejerk of old time racists will be complete.

  • Southeast Ken

    JoshNE, you don't support free speech? If you don't like the comments on here, then don't read them. One of the things I like about the Washington City Paper, they let people say how they truly feel in their hearts and minds. If someone call me the N word, gay, Uncle Tom, slave, steppin Fetchin, JoshNE, I don't give a dam. I rather know what my enemies are thinking and saying about me. My mother always told me, when people stop talking about, then it's time to worry. What I've seen, whites say what in the hell the want no matter how racist it is on many blogs and get away with it. The Prince of Petworth is one of these blogs that let coward racist whites call blacks savages and they we all should move to Prince Georges County, now that whtie gentrification is here. I was born and raised in Columbia Heights D.C. and it was my choice to move to Hillcrest Southeast D.C. To all the white gentrifiers out there that tell us blacks to move to PG County or back to Africa, I am not going anywhere. I will be right here in the District of Columbia, until God calls me to glory and I will be buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Take that to the bank JoshNE.

    @MikeMadden; I hope the Washington City Paper will continue to let people say how they truly feel in their hearts and minds by sharing their opinions. Enough with the so called hate speech and political correctness. Keith B, I don't mind if you as a white person call me a coon. The same applies to any black U.S. citizen. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Calling Barney Frank, Jim Graham, and David Catania Miss is not being homophobic. It's called having a sense of humor. Some gay men want to be or act like woman, therefore they deserve the title Miss or Ms. out of respect for who they are.

  • Southeast Ken

    The Washington City Paper rocks and if Charlie Sheen ran for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat or any of the 5 At-Large D.C. Council seats, I would vote for Charlie Sheen over these current clowns. Does this make me a racist for voting for Charlie Sheen? The same applies to the mayor of the District of Columbia. CHARLIE SHEEN rocks!

  • Southeast Ken

    My last comment, I don't support Ward 5 D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. and I feel, he should resign. He has been an embarrassment to black D.C. residents and to all D.C. residents. However, the law states, a person is innocent until proven quilty. I wonder how many blacks were convicted of killing and raping whites who were truly innocent in this country. The laws in the United States doesn't always apply to all citizens. Whites have always been treated differently since they invaded this country from Europe. It's called white privilege. I am over 50 and I do remember Jim Crow laws in this country and it hasn't been that long time ago. Recently an all white church voted on not accepting interracial couples into their church. Of course interracial always mean blacks and whites. That's never accepted, but whites can mix with white/mulatto Hispanics and Asians and it's acceptable. A Jewish colleague let me be aware recently, he's white and he felt uncomfortable discussing black on black violence. Until we have a serious discussion on race in our city and in this country, race relations will continue to deteriorate. I don't advocate violence, but I do foresee race riots in D.C. between blacks and whites in the near future if this none sense continue with white professionals moving into D.C. with chips on their shoulders looking down on black D.C. residents as if were are inferior to them.

  • StrangeFruit

    Noodlez and Tony,

    I agree, you got a tax-payer sponsored corporate lobbyist (Jack Evans)sitting on the dais hatching all kinds of corrupt schemes and not one of these race-baiting newspapers have considered further investigating his backroom, conflict of interest hook-ups. What type of bonuses has this man received for crafting legislation that lined the pockets of his law firm's corporate clients with hundreds of millions in taxpayers subsidies?

    You got Joanna Aramo with the Wash Post Editorial Board being muzzled about Evans, Graham and Wells, but consistently setting the stage for the FBI and IRS to be front and center at Thomas' homestead. Why didn't the Post exhaust the same energy to bait the FBI and IRS to raid Graham's home?

    The media is hell-bent on expediting the Wilson Bldg's hue from Black to White!

  • Columbia Heights

    JoshNE, are you a Catholic Priest from Catholic University? I noticed you mentioned the end of times. The Catholic Church has it's on problems with gay and pedophile Priests and it's being a racist institution.

  • Keith B.

    Ken, first, I'd never call anyone a coon, for many reasons, and I certainly couldn't "as a white person call me a coon" for reasons that might require too much thinking on your part to decipher. You want better dialog? Open your mind, brother...

  • Ward 1 Voter

    @JoshNE It's actually pretty useful to read these comments. Some erroneous reasoning, and some silly name-calling and posturing, but it's all part of the back-and-forth that goes on.

    Something I want to address is the notion that going after HTJ is racism. HTJ isn't some crusader for justice and freedom who poses a mortal threat to the powers-that-be on behalf of the neglected and underprivileged. He's a proud product of the powers-that-be and not much of a crusader for anything other than strip clubs and more hours of golf. If there's a white power structure in the city, HTJ was as threatening to that as a food blogger.

    We're still awaiting all the facts, but right now it looks like what got HTJ was that he was sloppy and not very good at concealing what he was doing. Maybe he's dumb, maybe he thought his name and connections would save him, maybe he just didn't care. Some of the other CMs smell/look/feel crooked too, but they're a lot better at flying under the radar than HTJ. The FBI tried to bag Graham, for instance, and came up empty, though they did nail his COS. So going after HTJ isn't racism. They're just picking at the thread that stuck out the most.

  • Drez

    Thomas achildren's Councilmember who stold from the children in his own Ward.
    There's really nothing more to this story.

  • Drez

    Thomas is a Councilmember who stold from the children in his own ward.
    That's all there is to this story.

  • NE John

    Harry Thomas Jr. is a dick, end of story. There is absolutely no racism motivating his demise. He did this to himself and his constituent, all while he fucked the DC taxpayers. You guys are all crazy, but I still love you, my DC brothers.

  • JoshNE

    @Ken...no prob with the 1st amendment, it's just that being a prejudiced jerk on internet comment sections wasn't covered in that particular bit of constitutional law.

    @Columbia Heights...you got me. Total priest over here.

    My real point is, maybe these comment sections could be used for actually and reasonably debating the merits of the case against HTJ, and the case for and against his stepping down during the investigation.

    Non-native Washingtonian
    1st generation (we all start somewhere, right?)

  • Really?

    @enoughalready…please! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again this is one of the few blogs where ppl can have real dialogue about race and politics in this city. Princeofpetworth was mentioned for the racist code word comments and another is dcist which has nothing less than racist code word echo chamber. Anytime folks get scared and feel uncomfortable, especially with race they want to have someone regulate.

    @Youngbuck “In America, we are culturally conditioned to believe that (anything) Black is inferior and white is superior. And the manifestation of that cultural conditioning is that blacks are underestimated, undervalued and marginalized.

    That’s’ you buddy! Your comment is soo typical of the newbie’s in this city who have nay clue of the intricate dynamics of dc politics so what ya’ll do is attempt to underestimated, undervalued and marginalized by attacking those who have the same hue's education and talent. If it wasn’t was many of us (I’m including whites (pre 2000 in this one too) holding this city down and sticking things out your young ass wouldn’t want to live here, so pay homage by kissing my ass.

    @W Jordon…thanks and it was Williams who started this practice. This is the 2nd “practice” that has gotten a DC politician in trouble. Remember the whole Banneker Ventures fiasco was based on a past Williams practice

    @Noodlez, Tony and Stragefruit….let the church say amen….AAAAAAAman!

    I’ve said it in previous comments, which was Harry was the one I was most worried about. I don’t condone anything he is alleged to have done. I’m a little sadden that he didn’t see some of this coming considering the whole Parks and Rec crap under Fenty. He had to know they were going to gun for him. Again he should be allowed to stay while the process plays out.

    @NEJohn [insert name] (i.e. Evans, Wells) "is a dick, end of story. There is absolutely no racism motivating his demise. He did this to himself and his constituent, all while he fucked the DC taxpayers."

  • noodlez




  • Southeast Ken

    @noodlez; you are on point with your comment to JoshNE

    JoshNE, shouldn't you be worried about all the homosexual and pedophile Priests. The Catholic Church is an racist institution ruled by a bunch of white men in long dresses in the Vatican. I stopped attending Mass years ago because the church is racist and managed by mostly homosexual feminine acting men. JoshNE, I am sick of people like you with your political correctness bullshit. As I and others stated, if you don't like what's being said on here, stop reading the comments. Stop with your censorship bullshit.

  • Southeast Ken

    @Really; you had better continue to speak the truth, amen.

  • tony

    @Keith B., I know my words hurt your weak white azz. And thats a good thing. Maybe the next time you take your meds, you might want to consider taking them all at once.

  • Keith B.

    @tony, I'm on no meds, I'm naturally an asshole who calls out the feeble minded chumps like you. I'm not the one whose ass got so pumped with jizz it's up to his eyes and he sees white everywhere. Go down some metamucil old man, clear out your bowels!

  • tony

    @Keith B., you the white computer gangster!LOL. Cracker go and call out your "gramps" and then crawl back into your cave, punk!

  • tony

    @Keith B., Before your sorry azz attack black politicians and then try to mute your unwarranted criticism for what they really are by pretending that you are a brother from the hood, you would be wise to remember wrote you have written on these blogs. For Example:

    Keith B. November 28th, 2011
    11:54 am
    Damn, Jack's a miser! Wonder how I can get in on some of those "other" expenditures before I get gerrymandered into Ward 3?

  • Keith B.

    Oh tony, I think you might have to enroll in some basic adult education classes! I always thought a "DC native" like you would have english down, but you apparently can't parse the words on your screen. Unlike you, I've never claimed to be black or from the hood. Keep digging for quotes, but maybe you'll have more luck finding change in the gutter you spend your days in!

  • Southeast Ken

    Keith B., the Devil is a lie. You have stated, you're a black man. I knew your your lying ass was a white boy. Are you from middle America where there are very few blacks? Have you thought about moving back to your native town, Keith B.?

  • Truth Hurts

    Yo noodlez, still cracking me up after all these years. Not that I'm endorsing the content of your comments, mind you, but you have a unique touch for comedic wordsmithing.

    Btw, what's a spizzot? Be kind, my brother, be kind.

  • noodlez


  • Truth hurts

    Got it.

  • tony

    @Keith B., now thats the Keith B. the WCP faithfuls are use to. It seems that the WHITE prodigy child has returned home. Just make sure you wrap yourself well in some burlap because those caves can get very cold. Hopefully, you WON'T make it through the winter.