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Fun:Washington, D.C.

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Technically, DC is a federal district, but it fits best in the territory category.
US Capitol Building, infamous reptilian lair!
Guide to:
U.S. Politics
Icon politics USA.svg
Hail to the Chief?
Persons of interest
We are the perfect team for Washington DC, since we spend wildly ludicrous sums of money on flashy things while ignoring the long-term structural issues that will eventually cripple us. The only difference is that America gets to hold Presidential elections every four years.
Deadspin, "Why Your Team Sucks 2014: Washington Redskins"

Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), usually referred to as just "DC" or "The District" (by those in the DC Metro area) or "Washington"[1] is a federal district wedged between northern Virginia and Maryland, and the capital of the United States. The Executive offices, Supreme Court, and Legislative Capitol Building are all located there.

Politicians actually spend very little time in Washington. In the past, Democrats and Republicans went to school together, their kids played ball together, you saw him outside of work with his mutual friends, you went to events together. As congressmen spend less and less time on the Hill, work weeks got shorter and shorter, and now each time these guys interact, it's in a fight. They see each other as the Enemy and that seeps down to their constituencies.

Washington: the swamp anomaly[edit]

Of all detestable places, Washington is the first. Crowd, heat, bad quarters, bad fare, bad smells, mosquitoes, and a plague of flies transcending everything within my experience. Beelzebub surely reigns here, and Willard's HotelWikipedia's W.svg is his temple.
George Templeton StrongWikipedia's W.svg[2]

Washington is an exception in many ways:

  • It has no voting representation in the Congress, despite clearly being a part of the U.S. In spite of this, it still has three votes in the Electoral College, as if it were a small state. It has no representatives because it is not a state and only states have representatives as per the United States Constitution. The secret real reason that this is not changed is because it would mean more votes for Democrats, according to John Kasich (they voted for the Democrats by over 85% in 1984).[3]
  • It is a planned city on a coast renowned for horribly unplanned cities[4] (with the exception of Manhattan and semi-exception of Philadelphia). This, however, doesn't make much difference as the downtown grid is covered with avenues slashing across at odd angles, turning a sensible layout into an insane patchwork of zig-zags. There is a conspiracy theory about this odd layout. A famous urban legend that claims the streets were designed to confuse invading armies is also Bullshit.
  • It is literally built on a swamp, making for really nasty humidity in the summer.
  • Despite enormous amounts of money passing through it, a majority of its inhabitants are poor minorities.
  • The Moonies own one of their two daily newspapers and the guy who founded Amazon owns the other.
  • If you look at a map showing D.C. and its surrounding area, you will notice that Washington along with the cities of Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, look like a diamond road sign.[5] This is because in its original plan the District of Columbia straddled the Potomac River with Arlington and Alexandria incorporated into the District. These cities were returned to Virginia on 9 July 1846.[6][7]
  • It is the only city directly ruled by the federal government in the entire US. Many think that the reason is the same as its lack of Congressional representation: they would be ruled by the Democrats.

Washington, D.C. has a population of 658,893 crammed within 61.4 miles², not including a daily influx of 5,358,282 visitors attempting to photograph the cherry blossoms.[8]

Nicknames[edit]

  • D.C.
  • The Beltway, after Interstate 495 which encircles both the city and wealthy environs like Bethesda, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia, home to huge numbers of federal contractors and lobbyists
  • That stinking hole of corruption and depravity
  • Mordor

The site of major (and minor) protests[edit]

United Auto Workers, Sept 19, 1981

Over the decades, Washington D.C. has been the site of major protests and marches. This includes:

  • June/July 1932 - Bonus Army. World War I veterans marched and protested to demand the payment of their bonus from WWI early, which was not due then until 1945 but badly needed during the Great Depression. Some of the Bonus Army marchers stuck around in makeshift camps and wouldn't leave until late July when troops led by soon-to-be-WWII-heroes Gens. MacArthur and Patton (with an obscure major named Dwight Eisenhower as aide-de-camp) forcibly evicted them with bayonets and riot control gas. President Herbert Hoover ordered the assault stopped but MacArthur, in a sign of things to come, ignored him.
  • September 19, 1981 - Solidarity Day March. Various union groups organized a march to protest what would eventually be mocked as Reaganomics.[10]
  • March 26, 1991 - A wide variety of anti-war, union, and worker groups came to protest against U.S. involvement in the First Bush Gulf War.[11]
  • 2002-2007 - Too many protests to count against the Iraq War organized by one of two rival anti-war groups, the ANSWER coalition and United for Peace and Justice. Several of these were quite large and drew in excess of 100,000 people. The ANSWER protests drew criticism for their lineup of flaky speakers trying to inject every other possible issue into the protest ("free the Cuban Five", "independence for Puerto Rico", "free Mumia", Palestinian and immigrant rights issues, ad nauseam) instead of keeping it focused on opposing the war. The more mainstream UFPJ's protests were better received.
  • September 12, 2009 - Tea Partiers show up en masse to party. Organizers make wild claims of 600,000 to 2 million in attendance, but the D.C. Fire Department estimated 60,000 to "in excess of 75,000." The date was based on the 9/12 Movement, one of Glenn Beck's concoctions.
  • April 12th-16th, 2016 - Democracy Spring, a grassroots march from Philadelphia, PA to Washington D.C., occurs protesting for stronger campaign finance laws. It turns out approximately 4,000 people and results in 1,200 arrests for civil disobedience.[12]
  • April 16th-19th, 2016 - Democracy Awakening, a mass mobilization of nearly 300 organizations, demand the restoration of the Voting Rights Act and campaign finance reform.[13]

Notable imports[edit]

  • Slugs commuting in from Fake Virginia and Maryland
  • Your tax dollars
  • Protesters

Notable exports[edit]

  • Minor Threat, punk band and inspiration for the straight edge movement
  • Bad Brains, an awesome hardcore punk band
  • Fugazi, and almost everybody on Dischord Records
  • Angel, worst hair metal band ever, who may be better known for Frank Zappa spoofing them than for their music.
  • The Blackbyrds, a pretty good R&B vocal group from the 1970s ("Walking in Rhythm," "Rock Creek Park")
  • Urban Verbs. Calling them a Talking Heads imitation isn't fair. After all, Talking Heads were from New York, Urban Verbs were from D.C.
  • Frequent scandals and the like

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. By the unwashed heathens in other, lesser parts of the country, except for that state in the Pacific Northwest and its neighbors to the south and to the east, where people use "Washington" when referring to The State of, and "D.C." for That One-Time Malarial Swamp on the Banks of the Potomac.
  2. Ken Burns' The Civil War, S01E02
  3. Kasich makes a mistake by accidentally telling the truth by Steve Benen (04/22/16 10:02 AM) MSNBC.
  4. See, Boston, which city's roads were laid out on random cowpaths, according to local legend.
  5. It is a perfect square. Each side is ten miles (16 km) long.
  6. See the Wikipedia article on Arlington County, Virginia.
  7. See the Wikipedia article on Alexandria, Virginia.
  8. http://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2014/tables/NST-EST2014-01.csv
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Moratorium
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_Day_march
  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RebIWW2.jpg
  12. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/16/hundreds-democracy-spring-protesters-arrested-dc/83123326/
  13. http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/democracy-awakening-and-congress-of-conscience-conclude-with-thousands-dema