Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 20, 2009


NY Magazine - A brief phone survey of D.C.-area hookers found on Craigslist revealed that Barack Obama's inauguration is inspiring great hopes - for their business. A pair who work together expect 30 clients before Wednesday, all paying $200 a pop. Meeka, 21, a "sexy southern belle, new to town," has come into the city specially for the festivities. "I'm busy over the weekend," she told us. "I could make time for you, though." Karina, 26, traveled five hours to get here, and was already "pretty booked up."

All of the women, who charge between $100 and $300 per hour, voted for Obama. Charlie, who implores clients to "come start my engine, bad boy," said she would even provide her services to Barack Obama, despite potential costs to his nascent presidency. Lei, a male prostitute, spoke to us at his plush apartment in an upscale neighborhood. "I actually just finished with a client who was from out of town, the South, I think," the youthful-looking 38-year-old - who is from an Islamic country, and was in an arranged marriage for eight years before coming out of the closet - told us. "I hope the inauguration will bring more business. If it's guys here by themselves on business, then it will."

Obama's inauguration might also make history for D.C. cocaine dealers - although there is no basis to the rumor that some are dyeing their product black. Over five days, one 29-year-old expects to earn cash in the high five figures from out-of-towners, not least because bars are open until 5 a.m. and there are a few hundred parties. The dealer, who grew up moshing to D.C. punk, laid out $3,000 to stock up because he plans on moving "serious weight." On Saturday, lounging in the back room of the Rock N Roll Hotel nightclub, he slipped a bag of coke into the hands of a venerable fortysomething European reporter. "I've had people calling me about this for weeks," the dealer says, as the reporter hands him $60. "I just sold out. I gotta re-up."


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