News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Hart Times

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.

Day 32 of the partial government shutdown. The National Federation of Federal Employees is one of the organizations behind a mass sit-in at the Hart Senate Office Building planned for tomorrow at noon. Furloughed feds, DC employees, their unions, and general supporters are expected to “Occupy Hart” to protest the ongoing weeks without pay.

Get ready for our 100 Very Best Restaurants list! The issue hits stands Friday, and we’re counting down the Top 5 on Instagram starting this morning.

Keep dining: Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington has extended Winter Restaurant Week until January 27 to “lift spirits” and “show support” during the government shutdown. Here are some in house recommended spots to check out.

Face, off: I regret to inform you that politician beards are now over. Donald Trump Jr. debuted his own on Fox News and there is no possible Ingraham Angle at which anyone could think that beard was a good idea. So, I’ve decided to call a total and complete shutdown of beards until we can figure out what’s going on.

Hello, I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Welcome to this morning e-mail. Email me with comments or questions and follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

briefing by any other name would at least be, well, an improvement: The White House has set the record for longest span without press briefings: 31 days. Senior White House officials are still doing scrums as they walk back from cable hits toward the West Wing. I truly wonder: Is that enough?

In case you missed it: Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci has finally entered the Celebrity Big Brother house and claims he still talks to the President once or twice a month, though “I’m usually the one making the call.” We’ve all been there, Mooch. He also rode giant swings with Lindsay Lohan‘s mother. I take it all back. I actually like Earth 2.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • You ought to meet Mary Wilkinson, the woman who handed out nearly $700 of her own money to furloughed workers waiting outside of José Andrés‘s relief kitchen.
  • Food trucks that lined up DC avenues seemed like a hip and convenient place to nab lunch. But now that once-popping scene is ten years old.
  • We’re by no means a “music festival city,” but Broccoli Fest is working to change that. Childish Gambino and Lil Wayne will headline this year’s main event.
  • Change your name! On an app! Before your wedding! (Or, maybe if you’re on the run…?)
  • I’m not sure if I buy into Ping Pong as a concept but this fried chicken/table tennis bar at the National Press Club may challenge my skepticism.

Our pick for things to do around town:

BOOKS How do the wealthy use their foundations to impact public policy? Author and political science professor Rob Reich addresses that question in his new book Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better. Reich argues that individual philanthropy should be used differently from personal foundations; He’ll make his case at Politics & Prose at the Wharf with Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money. Free, 7 PM.

Good reads:

Isaac Chotiner‘s interview with Rudy Giuliani includes a hypothetical conversation with Saint Peter at the gates of Heaven after Giuliani’s death. That should be enough for you to click. (New Yorker)

Big events from Washingtonian

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.