News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Please End the Molar Investigation

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Good Friday morning. Today, we are tied for the longest government shutdown on record. Treat yourself to something nice to numb the pain, like Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or free doughnuts at Sugar Shack.

I’ve got friends in furlough places: Local photographer Nathan Chung will be offering free headshots for the furloughed and the unemployed at the 14th Street location of Busboys and Poets tomorrow from 3-5 PM. (Furloughed feds get 10 percent off on books, too.) If you’re more of a mixologist, head over to Shaw and visit the Passenger, where out-of-work feds will guest bartend all Saturday. And just like the Coast Guard encouraged its people to do, some people affected by the shutdown have started selling their belongings on Craigslist.

For the love of what is good and right, please End the Molar Investigation: Yesterday, unemployed Texas man Beto O’Rourke took us all to the dentist via Instagram live. Unsurprisingly, Twitter had a field day with memes and puns that made me want to bang my head against a desk. Is this what we’ve come to? Politicians being forced to let us into their lives in increasingly personal and boundary shattering ways simply to prove to electorate that they’re more “human” than other potential candidates. A PSA to any staffer reading this newsletter, here is what I do not want to see your boss doing:

  • Getting a colonoscopy
  • Fighting with their significant other at Target
  • TikTok
  • Mulling over whether it’s worth adding that extra cheap but not super versatile item from H&M in order to quality for free shipping
  • Ranting about Gmail’s autocomplete feature
  • Flossing (the dance and the dental hygienic act)
  • ASMR videos

I would, however, be open to seeing your boss’s thoughts on Frasier, a very good television show.

Hello, I’m your sentient Starbucks holiday cup, Brittany ShepherdEmail me with comments or questions and follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

In case you missed it: The Drudge Report is asking for your nude pictures???? This is a sentence I just typed????!??? This ain’t Snapchat, Drudge.

Snow patrol: It’s likely snowing in DC tomorrow (a whopping four inches)—will the government shutdown affect that? According to the Washington Post, the National Park Service will have snow collection handled.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

COMEDY Washington Improv Theater (WIT) presents a rotating series of performances over the next three weekends at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Most notable is The Fourth Estate, a show that includes employees of the Washington Post and Fox News in its cast and explores how an improvised story becomes news. The rotating performances also include the improvised musical group iMusical, the all-female troupe Hellcat, and the improvised rock comedy Heavy Rotation. Through January 26. $15 in advance or $18 at the door.

Good reads:

The lights are on but no one’s home. Katie Rogers explains what happens at the White House during a government shutdown. (New York Times)

Trump’s fashion says one thing: the border is a disaster zone. (The Washington Post)

Big events from Washingtonian

Join our food critic Ann Limpert at 11 AM today for her weekly chat. Have questions about where to eat for Winter Restaurant Week? Ways to cook and eat extra-cheaply during the shutdown? Or maybe you just need a dinner recommendation.

You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.