• The Fine Print

    As a CIA undercover officer, Will Hurd made it his business to go unnoticed. But as a newly-elected member of Congress, this spy has thoroughly blown his former cover.

    On his first trip to Washington since being elected, the Texas Republican – the first black Republican elected from that state since Reconstruction – told “The Fine Print” how his years working in the CIA inspired him to come out of the shadows and into the political spotlight.

    “One of the other things I had to do was brief members of Congress, and when I was in the agency I was shocked by the caliber of some of our elected officials and decided to do something about it,” Hurd said. “My mamma said, ‘You're either part of the problem or part of the solution,’ and so I decided to run.”

    What shocked Hurd most, he said, was that many members didn’t even know the basic difference between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims while the U.S. was engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “That's okay for my brother not to know

    Read More »from The spy who infiltrated Congress: Meet Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
  • Power Players

    Even before the United States had its independence, it had beer.

    And in this episode of “Power Players,” we trace the country’s heady beer history back to the beginning with beer historical expert Garrett Peck, who’s written a new book “Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C.”

    Beer first came to America with pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620. And by 1770, Peck explained over a beer at Bluejacket Brewery in Washington, D.C., the D.C. area began brewing beer of its own when Scottish and English immigrants began making ales in what is today Alexandria, Virginia.

    “They brought it basically from Britain, and this is before the revolution, they're drinking ales,” he said. “That lasted for a long time in the colonies.”

    Ale remained the brew of choice through the revolutionary years and well into the 19th century. But in the 1850s, an influx of German immigrants arrived and brought their fanaticism for beer with them.

    “There was a huge revolution in Germany,

    Read More »from One nation, under beer: A heady history on how beer became America’s drink of choice
  • Top Line

    Is it possible to succeed in Washington, D.C. and keep your soul at the same time? One longtime Beltway insider has written a book aimed at helping those who want to try.

    Communications consultant Torie Clarke, perhaps best known for her role batting back reporters’ questions as the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs to Donald Rumsfeld, has published “A Survivor's Guide to Washington: How to Succeed Without Losing Your Soul.”

    At the top of Clarke’s rules of the road: “Suck it up or pack it up.”

    Clarke once packed it up herself, when she resigned from her post at the Pentagon in 2003. But she maintains that her time working for the Defense Department was the highlight of her career, citing her role in a program to embed journalists with troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “When I look back on my time there, I like to think about how I, with a lot of really talented people and some enlightened leadership, had the most transparent administration in the

    Read More »from Soulless in the city? An insider’s guide to surviving Washington


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