1. image: Download

    Read this week’s paper!
Alan Suderman on Mayor Vince Gray’s lame-duck-itude.
Ever wondered why there are, like, no fabric stores in D.C. proper?
How the curtain fell on Riot Act Comedy Theater
Does authenticity in restaurants matter anymore? (Hint: It doesn’t.)
On the occupation at Fringe
Reviewed! The less lie-ridden The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs; The Queen of Versailles and Ruby Sparks
     
  2. The slogan was emblazoned on virtually every piece of Gray campaign literature or merchandise in 2010, whether paid for with legal donations or by the illicit shadow operation: “Character. Integrity. Leadership.”
     
  3. MORNING READING — COVER STORY FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION (OUT TODAY!):

Plenty of people criticize aspects of Lanier’s tenure—including the realignment efforts. But even where she fails to sell a plan, Lanier succeeds in selling herself. A poll released by Clarus Research Group in March puts her approval rating at a cosmic 84 percent. Her boss, Mayor Vince Gray, is hobbled at 41 percent, according to a poll released in June by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The D.C. Council is at 54 percent, according to the Clarus poll. The only public figure in D.C. who’s more popular than Lanier is President Barack Obama, who tops her by 4 percent. And it’s safe to say the president’s national numbers would trail the chief’s standing here.

— Rend Smith, "Everybody Loves Cathy Lanier."
Photo by Darrow Montgomery

    MORNING READING — COVER STORY FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION (OUT TODAY!):

    Plenty of people criticize aspects of Lanier’s tenure—including the realignment efforts. But even where she fails to sell a plan, Lanier succeeds in selling herself. A poll released by Clarus Research Group in March puts her approval rating at a cosmic 84 percent. Her boss, Mayor Vince Gray, is hobbled at 41 percent, according to a poll released in June by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The D.C. Council is at 54 percent, according to the Clarus poll. The only public figure in D.C. who’s more popular than Lanier is President Barack Obama, who tops her by 4 percent. And it’s safe to say the president’s national numbers would trail the chief’s standing here.

    — Rend Smith, "Everybody Loves Cathy Lanier."

    Photo by Darrow Montgomery

     
  4. MORNING READING, FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION:

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a busy, productive spring for investigators in the District.
Attorney General Irv Nathan dispelled any notion he’s a softie with a blistering civil suit accusing Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. of redirecting city money earmarked for kids and using it to buy an Audi. The Office of Campaign Finance exceeded everyone’s low expectations with a well-documented audit of D.C. Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown’s inability to document the $170,000 his 2008 re-election campaign paid his brother. And the U.S. Attorney’s Office showed it actually does pay attention to District affairs, turning to a grand jury to help investigate alleged misconduct by Mayor Vince Gray’s mayoral campaign and launching its own Thomas probe.
But for the Office of the Inspector General, which has an annual budget of more than $15 million and is supposed to be the District’s main watchdog, it’s been a typically quiet past few months. Inspector General Charles Willoughby really only made news by deciding not to have his office investigate the mayor’s campaign, on the pretext that Willoughby once had a brief meeting with Gray’s chief accuser, Sulaimon Brown, to talk about jobs.

— Alan Suderman, "Inspector Gadget."
Photo by Darrow Montgomery

    MORNING READING, FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION:

    In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a busy, productive spring for investigators in the District.

    Attorney General Irv Nathan dispelled any notion he’s a softie with a blistering civil suit accusing Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. of redirecting city money earmarked for kids and using it to buy an Audi. The Office of Campaign Finance exceeded everyone’s low expectations with a well-documented audit of D.C. Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown’s inability to document the $170,000 his 2008 re-election campaign paid his brother. And the U.S. Attorney’s Office showed it actually does pay attention to District affairs, turning to a grand jury to help investigate alleged misconduct by Mayor Vince Gray’s mayoral campaign and launching its own Thomas probe.

    But for the Office of the Inspector General, which has an annual budget of more than $15 million and is supposed to be the District’s main watchdog, it’s been a typically quiet past few months. Inspector General Charles Willoughby really only made news by deciding not to have his office investigate the mayor’s campaign, on the pretext that Willoughby once had a brief meeting with Gray’s chief accuser, Sulaimon Brown, to talk about jobs.

    — Alan Suderman, "Inspector Gadget."

    Photo by Darrow Montgomery

     
  5. MORNING READING, FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION (OUT TODAY!):

But antics aside, Brown’s testimony failed to produce any new proof of his allegations. That leaves plenty of circumstantial evidence of potential wrongdoing by Gray’s campaign aides, but nothing that presents a real threat to the mayor.
And that means Brown’s time in the spotlight is likely coming to a rapid end. Unless the feds or Congress unexpectedly take his allegations against the mayor seriously, Brown’s moment of glory seems to have passed, and he’ll likely soon fade back into obscurity.
And that’s a good thing.

— Alan Suderman, "So Long, Sulaimon."
Photo by Darrow Montgomery

    MORNING READING, FROM THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION (OUT TODAY!):

    But antics aside, Brown’s testimony failed to produce any new proof of his allegations. That leaves plenty of circumstantial evidence of potential wrongdoing by Gray’s campaign aides, but nothing that presents a real threat to the mayor.

    And that means Brown’s time in the spotlight is likely coming to a rapid end. Unless the feds or Congress unexpectedly take his allegations against the mayor seriously, Brown’s moment of glory seems to have passed, and he’ll likely soon fade back into obscurity.

    And that’s a good thing.

    — Alan Suderman, "So Long, Sulaimon."

    Photo by Darrow Montgomery

     
  6. Mayor Vince Gray’s 2010 Lincoln Navigator costs $1,941 a month, according to a contract requested from the Department of Public Works. The SUV is leased by the ‘executive protection unit’ of the police department. The contract describes the ride as ‘fully loaded,’ with a leather interior, navigational and entertainment systems, and a ‘power tailgate.’
    — Alan Suderman on the mayor’s transportation costs when city officials are trying to bridge a $600 million deficit.