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Posts by Humberto Sanchez
June 23, 2014
As the U.S. national team prepares to take on Germany Thursday to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants soccer’s governing body to take the 2022 tournament away from Qatar.
“I’m urging FIFA to remove the cloud that hangs over the 2022 World Cup and swiftly reallocate this event,” Casey said in a Monday letter to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, adding that the United States conveniently stands ready to host.
Casey, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, cited labor practices and allegations of corruption and bribery as reasons to strip the tournament from the Gulf state monarchy. Full story
June 11, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, was having dinner at a Capitol Hill Italian restaurant when the returns from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary race came in showing the Virginia Republican had lost.
“No, you know the rules,” Boehner said when asked if he had any comment when leaving the Trattoria Alberto, which describes itself as “Fine Italian dining in a friendly, neighborhood setting.”
Boehner, in shirtsleeves and with his tie undone, was referring to his typical practice of not answering questions outside of a press conference. His demeanor was somewhat prickly, but not surprising given that he was being unexpectedly pursued after dinner by a few reporters after a stunning defeat for establishment Republicans. Full story
June 10, 2014
“He’s a lovely customer,” Juan Buruca, the owner of Trattoria Alberto’s on Barracks Row, said of Speaker John A. Boehner.
The Ohio Republican was likely one of the many in Washington utterly surprised by the primary defeat of his chief lieutenant, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Tuesday night. But a man still has to eat, and Alberto’s is among Boehner’s haunts, particularly with his Rat Pack-like pals, Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Richard M. Burr, R-N.C.
The first reports of Boehner eating at Alberto’s came in during the early evening. And there he stayed. Around 10 p.m., after Chambliss and Burr left, the speaker went to amble home. Asked if he had any comment about the Cantor primary he said, “No, you all know what the rules are” — a reference to his unofficial rule that he does not take questions except at press conferences.
February 7, 2014
A city of iconic monuments and architecture, Washington, D.C., is known for historic sites — and now you can own one, though it is lesser known.
On Dec. 13, 1980, Minor Threat, a seminal D.C. hardcore band, played its first show at 1929 Calvert St. NW. The eight bedroom, seven bathroom Victorian townhouse is on the market for $2.09 million.
Located in the Kalorama neighborhood, the house has been divided up into four luxury two bedroom apartments, according to the Long and Foster listing.
But the place should probably be turned into a museum. Also on the bill that night was The Bad Brains, S.O.A. and a few other D.C. bands that had taken the baton from ’70s punk rock and launched a thriving music scene in the District.
After breaking up in 1983, Ian MacKaye, Minor Threat’s lead singer, went on to found Fugazi. He also founded Dischord Records with drummer Jeff Nelson.
Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker went on to play with Junkyard, The Meatmen, Dag Nasty, Government Issue and now plays with Bad Religion.
The Bad Brains is a legendary D.C. hardcore band formed in 1977 and famous for playing fast songs, but also for its reggae numbers.
S.O.A, short for State of Alert, was Henry Rollins’ first band. Back then he was known as Henry Garfield. A District native, Rollins later went on to be the lead singer of L.A. hardcore band Black Flag before embarking on a solo career and eventually branching into acting.
October 3, 2013
Several eyewitnesses of Thursday’s car chase and shooting at the Capitol described a chaotic scene as Capitol Police officers attempted to get a female suspect to exit her car — she refused and they opened fire with service weapons as she sped away.
One 57-year-old man from the District, Frank Schwing, said he was near a grove of trees “on the Mall side … at the base of the Capitol. Police came out with their their guns drawn, opened the passenger side [door], tried to get the driver out. At that point, the driver slammed in reverse, slammed into a cruiser, did a 180 and took off. At that point there were about a half a dozen shots fired. … At that point you could hear a number of cars coming in, police up on the Hill made us get down. They were trying to evacuate us into a safe place. They had their guns drawn.”
Regina Romero, 54, of Sacramento,Calif., is visiting D.C. with her family on vacation. She said she was standing near the Botanic Garden at the time of the incident, on the west side of the House side of the Capitol.
“There were a lot of police cars coming from all directions,” she said, adding she heard 10 to 12 gunshots.
“We were kind of scared because we heard what happened a couple of weeks ago,” she said, referring to the Navy Yard shooting.
Irina Kleiman of Toronto, said, “My husband [and I] were right beside the Capitol Building [on the Senate side]. And we heard three or four shots in front of the building [on the west side]. We just stood there looking. Then we heard some more shots up the street [from Constitution Ave.] And then suddenly everybody started running. Thousands of police showed up. Where we were, there was a policeman with a huge rifle who yelled at us, ‘This is real, get down.’ I was so scared, so we just ran and he said to crouch behind a bench.”
Nathanael Bennett had a birds-eye view of Thursday’s incident from his office on the third floor of the American Center for Law and Justice, at the southeast corner of the intersections of Maryland and Constitution avenues and Second Street Northeast, across from the Hart Senate Office Building.
“I heard a commotion — a screeching car, car crashing, and gun shots — all in rapid succession,” Bennett told Roll Call. At that point, he turned around in his chair to look out the window.
From Bennett’s vantage point, the car was behind the guard shack at the intersection. He saw three police officers converge on the vehicle from three sides, firing their weapons: one officer from the median, standing behind some electrical boxes near the guard shack, a second officer in front of the car on Constitution Avenue, and a third officer from the sidewalk near the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum.
After a series of at least a dozen gunshots, the car went into reverse, careened into the median and into the guard shack. At that point, Bennett and his co-worker decided to move to the interior of their offices.
“The whole thing lasted about three or four seconds,” Bennett said.
May 9, 2013
Former Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., wants to patch up his relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the Nevada Democrat refused to see him because of an affair Domenici had with the daughter of one of Reid’s close friends three decades ago.
“I have occasion to call him every now and then,” Domenici told the Albuquerque Journal. “Harry has been a longtime friend. I’m sorry for what happened 35 years ago, and I look forward to any opportunity to talk with him about these matters.”
May 7, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to see former Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., recently because of Domenici’s affair with the daughter of his friend and one-time opponent, former Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt of Nevada.
“I don’t mention Domenici anymore because of what he did to Michelle [Laxalt],” Reid said in an hourlong interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week.
“He asked to see me last week, but I wouldn’t meet with him. But that’s another story,” Reid said.
Reid is close with Laxalt, 90, who walked him to the well of the Senate to be re-sworn in after his tough 2010 re-election campaign. The two grew close after Laxalt defeated Reid for the Senate seat in 1974 by fewer than 1,000 votes, one of the closest races in history. Reid replaced Laxalt after he retired in 1987.
November 7, 2012
Perhaps the Republican National Committee’s election night party was doomed from the beginning, when guests arrived to find a cash bar instead of a free-flowing booze-fest.
If not, it certainly didn’t help keep the crowds thick as the results slowly trickled in to show a bluer electoral map than red.
At the start of the evening, the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C., showed signs of success. Organizers had been expecting huge crowds. The guests were, by and large, young and beautiful, with the women wearing elephant-print dresses and the men wearing bowties. People gladly paid for chips with which to buy rocks glasses of Johnnie Walker Red and flutes of champagne. The food was free, though, and the spread ranged from lobster mac n’ cheese to chicken satay. Full story