January 26, 2006

A Ghost Town Called K Street

The canyon is deserted and motionless, except for a chill wind whipping in from the west that is sending a few stray tumbleweeds tumbling along the valley bottom.

The tumbleweeds are bouncing along the concrete canyon floor, along the double-yellow line up the middle, across the empty crosswalks _ a desolate journey witnessed only by the canyon's glass-and-steel walls.

Today this lifeless canyon is surely nature's most unnatural place. But once it teemed with life forms. It was known as K Street, and its inhabitants were cunning and resourceful predators _ a species known as "lobbyists."

Back then, K Street was Washington's Factory Row. Behind those glass-and-steel walls were sweatshops where overpaid lawyers worked ungodly hours churning out Washington's only manufactured product: Loopholes.

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