Baba Ras D

December 22, 2017

I am so happy to see DC-legend Baba Ras D get some well-deserved attention. Our son Max adores Baba Ras D – I do too. Thank you Perry Stein for her illuminating Washington Post Magazine profile and Voice of America Producer June Soh for her smile-inducing video! 



75th Anniversary of the Alexandria Library Sit-In – August 21, 1939

August 21, 2014

ax-tucker080702140717857175 years ago today, on August 21, 1939, Samuel W. Tucker organized probably the first sit-in of the American Civil Rights Movement at the public library on Queen Street in Alexandria, VA. Five young men were arrested: William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray, and Clarence Strange; with a sixth, Robert Strange, serving as a lookout for Tucker who followed events from his office three blocks away at 901 Princess Street. Today, CPAP MPA student Janet Arrechea and I are participating in a celebration of the 75th Anniversary organized by the Alexandria Libraries. Here is the announcement:

Please join the Alexandria Library at the Barrett Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, on Thursday, August 21, 10a.m., to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 library sit-in. Keynote speakers will be Civil Rights Activist and Director of the African American Civil War Museum Frank W. Smith and NC Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) and newly appointed Civil Rights Commissioner Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Music provided by Doc Night and the Hypnotix and refreshments from Rocklands (BBQ).


Here is a recent column about the Tucker and the sit-in by the Washington Post’s Patricia Shields.

Here are links to some of my other posts about Samuel W. Tucker’s remarkable legacy.





March 24, 2013

Over spring break, Rachel and I spent a few days canoeing in the Everglades National Park, about an hour from where my Mom lives in Naples, Florida. We were revisiting portions of last year’s epic adventure, learning once again that the wind and waves can be a real test. This year’s takeaway: Next time, give up on the old metal camp canoe and rent some kayaks.


in the trenches

October 31, 2012

in the trenches

Burlington, N.D. – Workers connect the sewer casing to the reamer. US Army Corps of Engineers. Photo by Jeff DeZellar.


So long stinky Safeway

September 19, 2012

The Petworth “stinky” Safeway on Georgia Avenue has finally closed – to be replaced in a year and a half (we hope) by a fancy new “lifestyle” Safeway. One immediate impact: I’m paying a premium for diet soda.


quench buggy

September 16, 2012

At the H Street Festival. Enlightened!



September 12, 2012

Louis Lozowick, “Crane” (1928)



DC’s economic optimism

September 9, 2012

From the NY Times Economix blog, “Washington, D.C., Singular in Its Economic Optimism”



September 6, 2012

Rachel pointed out Kurt Vonnegut’s list of chores. I love it.


Oversight: Overlooked or Unhinged?

August 31, 2012

Reposted from bureauphile.

For the past thirty years, students of American government have leaned hard on a metaphor contrasting “police patrol” and “fire alarm” oversight. It’s an interesting and useful idea, but basically unsupported by careful empirical work. My esteemed colleague David C.W. Parker (who blogs about Montana politics here) and I have looked the partisan dimensions of congressional oversight in a couple academic articles – a 2009 article here published in Legislative Studies Quarterly and a forthcoming article in Political Research Quarterly. This summer we published a short essay, “Oversight: Overlooked or Unhinged?” in Extension of Remarks, the newsletter of the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association. It’s basically an effort to work through the critique of the “fire alarm” metaphor with an eye on current events. Did you miss it? Here it is again.