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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Dateline: Washington, D.C.

Political, Potpourri, Quality of Life, U.S.

I will be in our nation's capitol for a few days and thought I'd share thoughts from here for those who might be interested.  I have been coming out for the past few years to meet with our Wisconsin Representatives and Senators on behalf of an industry trade association of which I'm a part.

This is always an interesting trip.  As I stepped outside Reagan National airport this afternoon, I was greeted by temperatures in the low 50s and a sunny sky.  This is where it disappeared to from Wisconsin!  Our special airline, Midwest, made the ride very comfortable and the cookies were just as good as ever.

As I rode into the city toward my hotel, I noticed the fairly large number of tourists out and about, lining up to see the Washington Monument, strolling on The Mall and gawking at all the famous buildings like we tourists do.  Our nation's capitol is a very special place no matter how maddening some of the laws that are passed here seem to us.  It is the place that the rest of the world looks to as the home of the greatest democracy ever seen.  They sometimes love to hate us, but they almost all envy what we have.

The city is comprised of people from virtually every country in the world.  Some are here as diplomats, others have moved here for one reason or another and still more are students.  It is a truly cosmopolitan city. 

I am fortunate to only see the better parts of Washington, for this great city isn't so great as one moves outward from the epicenter.  It is probably the most government-dependent community in our country, and it doesn't work very well from my perspective.  Tight gun controls haven't stopped the shootings.  There are only a handful of places where I can puff a cigar for all indoor smoking has been banned.  The homeless beg for money within a hundred yards of the White House and live in the many parks and on the many benches found in the city. 

As you can tell, I see a city of vast contrasts.  On The Hill, our elected representatives occupy the seat of government while a few miles away one can see some of the poorest sections of any city in America.  I am always torn by that, but I know I'll be home in Germantown soon.  It is a shame that some of these residents can't 'go home' to a Germantown somewhere.  And, it's a shame that some of the politicians can't do us a favor, and go home wherever that is for them.

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