Clyde McGrady

Ta-Nehisi Coates wants you to stop laughing about reparations
Writer takes aim at reparation critics like Mitch McConnell

Dave Chappelle has a sketch imagining a future in which African Americans are awarded reparative damages due from centuries of American slavery and discrimination. The routine features newly rich black people “blowing” their payments on rims, menthol cigarettes and rap record labels. The sketch is a smorgasbord of stereotypes conveying the message that the concept of reparations is so preposterous that it’s OK to make fun of it.

But fewer people are laughing now. And that’s largely because of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and his 2014 landmark essay “The Case for Reparations.” The 15,000-word article, published in The Atlantic, didn’t just deal with chattel slavery; it focused on housing discrimination and predatory lending practices that robbed many black Americans of their wealth. According to reparations proponents, that legacy is largely responsible for the ongoing racial wealth gap, wherein the typical white family owns 10 times the assets of the typical black family.

With ‘Kamala’s Corner,’ Harris wants to speak directly to black women
The Democratic candidate gets her own column in Essence Magazine

Sen. Kamala Harris hopes to reach a key Democratic voting bloc with her new column in Essence Magazine, a periodical geared toward African American women and a staple in black households for almost 50 years.

For Harris, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, “Kamala’s Corner” gives her an opportunity to speak directly to a black female party base that might not yet be familiar with the political newcomer. Black women make up a significant portion of Democratic primary voters and also play an important role as party organizers.

Maloney has sharp Father’s Day message for gay adoption critics
The New York Democrat and his husband have three kids

Sean Patrick Maloney doesn’t have any elaborate plans for Father’s Day.

“I’m gonna sit my butt in a lawn chair and hang out with my kids, something I don’t do very often,” he says. “Playing catch with my daughter, who’s a softball player, or going for a swim.”

All you need is ribs: Isakson barbecue brings hungry senators together
Leadership may have hated it at first, but the lunch is now a big hit

The smell of pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, Saint Louis pork ribs, baked beans, and creamy mac and cheese wafting through the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building can mean only one thing: Johnny Isakson’s annual barbecue lunch.

Every year, for more than a decade, the senior senator from Georgia feeds his colleagues from both sides of the aisle a BBQ lunch prepared by a pitmaster from his home state. Despite being met with initial pushback from party leaders, the get-together has grown into a highly anticipated event.

Rick Steves’ guide to legalizing weed
Travel guru has a message for marijuana haters: It’s more fun without you

For two decades, Rick Steves has guided viewers through capital cities all over Europe, helping them find the best sites to see and the best food to taste. But when he traveled to the U.S. Capitol this week, it wasn’t to check out the marble — it was to explain why legalizing weed is about more than getting high.

Steves was in D.C. as a guest of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who first met the roving television star in 2014 when they teamed up for a marijuana legalization fight in the congressman’s home state of Oregon.

Prayers up for Big Papi
Lawmakers issue well wishes to former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after shooting

Lawmakers all across Red Sox Nation are chiming in with their well wishes for retired slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in his native Dominican Republic.

Everyone from Boston’s Ayanna Pressley to Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is offering praise and hopes of a speedy recovery for the ailing Red Sox legend. Even former president Barack Obama shared a photo of Ortiz’s White House visit to celebrate the team’s 2013 World Series victory.

Are you Shakespeare or Tim McGraw? Your Hill horoscope
What’s happening around D.C. the week of June 10–16

“Friends, Romans, congressmen, lend me your ears.” Members of Congress and Washington influencers will come out Monday to recite the words of the most influential writer and lyricist of all-time: Drake, er sorry, William Shakespeare. The event, hosted by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and proceeds support the company’s educational, artistic and community engagement initiatives.

If you see lights glowing from the National Mall Tuesday night, don’t worry, the aliens haven’t arrived … yet. It’s “Glow Yoga on the Mall,” a vinyasa flow session hosted by D.C. Fray and other District yogis. The child’s poses and downward dogs begin at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25.

Burning Man seeks lobbying coordinator: serious inquiries only
It’s Heard on the Hill’s job of the week

In a reminder that literally every interest has a lobbyist, Burning Man is seeking a government affairs coordinator.

The Nevada desert festival started out as a small gathering for those searching for spiritual transcendence and has morphed into a bacchanal for tech bros shelling out thousands to eat lobster with models. Alas, nothing gold can stay.

Left and right unite around a common enemy: the burpee
‘No one likes it,’ admits workout maestro Rep. Markwayne Mullin

The mood in Washington today may be filled with partisan rancor, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers is determined not to let it break their bonds of (dis)affection for the squat thrust.

The burpee is the perfect exercise, congressman and possible sadist Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma said, whose Men’s Health Caucus led a Wednesday morning workout in the lead-up to Father’s Day. 

Politics aside, everyone hates burpees

It's 7 a.m. on a Wednesday and the sun isn't even warm yet. Do you know where your congressman is? He might be working out outside Longworth while Rep. Markwayne Mullin makes fun of him.

Trump’s adoption rollback collides with foster youth day
Administration is eyeing rule change that could make it harder for LGBT parents to adopt

“Every single resource that you pour into your child needs to be poured into us.”

That’s what Racquell Perry would say to Congress if given an audience with all 535 lawmakers. She didn’t get that Tuesday, but at least she came close. Perry, 29, was one of more than 100 former and current foster youth following members of Congress, making their presence known in the halls of the Capitol with bright blue sashes and an urgent mission. 

New rules for Airbnb could squeeze intern housing options
New D.C. law tightening home-sharing rules could increase sticker shock for students looking to intern on Capitol Hill

Home-sharing services like Airbnb are facing a crackdown by D.C. lawmakers who want to stop real estate investors from using buildings as de facto hotels. But what impact will a potential crunch on short-term housing have for interns looking for rentals in the District?

It can be daunting for interns seeking a place to stay in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. The initial excitement of landing that dream internship can quickly turn into panic, especially for students who need housing on short notice.

How to kill time on the Hill
Because sometimes there’s more people than work

First off, congratulations! Landing an internship is a big deal — whether you’re here because you applied through a rigorous selection process with essays and interviews, or because your donor father, while teeing up his ball on the ninth hole, casually mentioned to your home-state senator that you’d like to “try out” D.C.

Everyone says the Hill is busy, busy, busy, but here’s the dirty little secret: Most days are filled with LOTS of mind-numbing drudgery and boredom. There are only so many angry phone calls you can take. There are only so many four-page constituent letters ending with 10 exclamation points you can respond to. Eventually, you need a mental break. Chances are you’re reading this because you’re taking one now (or you’re bored).

How to dine like a boss on a tight budget in D.C.
Hill reception circuit offers a lifeline for cash-strapped interns

Receptions are the lifeblood of the broke Capitol Hill intern’s diet. Besides being a great place for meeting people (ABN: always be networking) they provide a bounty of free food and drinks, and usually the spreads are halfway decent. I once went a whole week without paying a dime for dinner. And honestly, with enough dedication, I could have stretched that to a month.

Besides not wearing your intern badge on your lapel, the earliest lesson you learn working on the Hill is that almost every industry has an association in D.C. to represent it. Whether it’s cement, hydrogen energy or guns, if somebody has an interest before Congress, you can bet it has a lobby organized to influence lawmakers.

Rapper T.I. wants to form the ‘Avengers’ of black investment
He honors Nipsey Hussle by turning tragedy into opportunity

“It was an incredible loss.”

That’s how Clifford “T.I.” Harris describes the tragic murder of fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down outside his own Los Angeles clothing store in March.

‘Inconvenient Truth’ producer tackles climate change again — just without saying it
The romance of farm life clashes with environmental reality in Laurie David’s latest project, ‘The Biggest Little Farm’

Rising at dawn to milk the cows. Watching pigs root around in dirt. Listening to cute baby goats bleating while they munch on grass. Grabbing a shotgun to dispose of the coyotes terrorizing your chicken coop. Yes, farming can be romantic, but the reality of creating your own complex, self-sustaining ecosystem is not.

That’s the closest thing to myth-busting you’ll get from “The Biggest Little Farm,” the latest project from producer Laurie David. Thirteen years ago, she gave us “An Inconvenient Truth,” with its flow charts and heavy-handed appeals to science. The nasal intonations of former Vice President Al Gore were the righteous cherry on top.

Yes, you can ride in a bow tie, and other lessons from Bike to Work Day
Rep. Earl Blumenauer joined packs of cyclists for the annual commute and free T-shirt frenzy

We caught up with Rep. Earl Blumenauer as he whizzed down the street during his Friday commute to Capitol Hill.

(And by “we” I mean my colleague and cycling enthusiast Ed Felker, who puts the pedal to the pavement rain or shine and kindly wore a GoPro for the occasion.)

The political gospel of Karamo Brown
Can the ‘Queer Eye’ star’s message of inclusiveness succeed in polarized times?

Karamo Brown talks like a man who has spent many hours in introspection. His speech is steeped in the language of therapy, peppered with words like “trauma” and “healing” and “boundaries.” He wants people to live their truth and accept who they are so they can be better for the people around them.

It should come as no surprise that the former social worker talks this way — especially to anyone who watches Brown on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” a runaway television hit that preaches inclusion and asks its audience and subjects to accept people who are different from themselves.

The sportsmen of Congress will name their next Top Gun
They’re looking sharp on the range, fresh off a legislative win

Republican and Democratic lawmakers will hit the gun range today for a (friendly?) sharpshooting competition to determine yearlong bragging rights over who is the best at blasting objects out of the sky.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus’s annual clay shoot (formerly known as the Congressional Shootout) is a chance for lawmakers to kick back in an atmosphere of loud bangs, where gun smoke permeates the air and the scent of rotten eggs tickles the nostrils.

AOC: ‘So sad’ over ‘RuPaul Drag Race’ decision
Congresswoman vents her frustration with Nina West’s elimination

You’re sitting at home watching one of your favorite reality television competition programs when the moment of truth arrives. Will the contestant you root for receive a rose/save/winning house vote or be sent home, relegated to the dustbin of reality TV history?

[Ocasio-Cortez tells Bobby Berk of ‘Queer Eye’ to swing by her ‘bach pad/warehouse type’ office]