The first official day of spring heralds the arrival of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which begins today and continues through April 14. There aren’t any blossoms yet — in fact, the National Park Service revised its peak bloom prediction to April 3-6 — but there are plenty of blossom-related events, beginning with tonight’s Pink Tie Party.
If “Inside the Beltway” , how would it compare to other major cities? It would be
almost the size of Los Angeles but half as densea little larger in area than Chicago but less dense than Los Angeles.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service have institute the following vehicle access and parking restrictions for today’s Inauguration activities. You can download the full list (PDF) or the map above (PDF)
Because of some the work we’ve done before on last minute negotiations and divided government, Sunlight prepared the following graphic that visualizes the recent history of US House votes on the debt ceiling, based on public voting records and a CRS report.
We’ll have more commentary forthcoming, but here are a few initial thoughts on what this graphic makes clear:
- Opposition to raising the debt ceiling is often partisan, with opposition coming from either party, based on who is in the White House. Many House Republicans have voted for raising the ceiling, just as President Obama voted against it when he was a Senator.
- Divided government has necessitated support from both parties to raise the limit.
- There is a significant untold story about the Gephardt Rule, a House Rule which enabled the limit to be raised with little public record. The role this rule played in setting up the current showdowns has been insufficiently examined.
- Good access to congressional data and reports enables this kind of analysis; it could be improved.
- Each of these votes was a predictable consequence of budgets that were passed before them, demonstrating another facet of political hypocrisy.
Time roughs up presidents. Photos of Barack Obama on Election Night 2008 look like they were taken much longer ago. Now his face has deeper creases and crow’s feet, while his hair has turned white. “You look at the picture when they’re inaugurated and four years later, they’re visibly older,” said Connie Mariano, White House physician from 1992 to 2001. “It’s like they went in a time machine and fast-forwarded eight years in the span of four years.”
The official WMATA transit map (designed for clarity & legibility) vs. the actual geographical layout of the DC Metro
Metro_Compared (by Don Whiteside)
Military and National Guard officials held a press conference to detail some of the 2014 Inauguration plans at the Armory in D.C., using a 40 by 60 foot map of the National Mall and its surrounding areas to plan logistics and staging.
It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.
As the wheeling and dealing around the “fiscal cliff” continues to envelop Washington, thousands of lobbyists representing more than a billion dollars are watching, and getting ready to complicate any potential deal.
After all, any grand bargain on spending and revenue will go right at the heart of two of the most heavily-lobbied issues in Washington: budget and taxes. Pick any tax loophole or any budget line item, and there’s almost certainly a lobbyist there to pressure deal-makers to pick a different loophole or budget item. Pick that loophole or budget item, and, well, you get the idea…