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Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 05/12/2011

Lunchline: Common is not a gangsta rapper

I’d like to thank my editors everyone who wrote in to tell me about the typo in yesterday’s newsletter item about Bob Marley. I’m kidding. My editors are great as are you guys, the readers. Speaking of feedback, the new Facebook fan page allows me to bring you all some more content in different ways and I’d love to hear some suggestions. Thanks!

So after all the back and forth, it turns out some people will get to see pictures of the deceased Osama bin Laden. The CIA announced yesterday that select lawmakers will be allowed to view the photos of the al-Qaeda founder’s body, at their own discretion. All of those eligible are members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, but it is interesting to read why some on Capitol Hill want to see them and others are gladly turning a blind eye. Some even think the government should charge people top dollar to view the photos. Not a bad idea.

Performers including rapper Common, who touched off controversy among some Republicans for his lyrics, showed off their talents at the White House during an evening of poetry.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Music Series stirred up partisan controversy across TV networks yesterday and a laughable display of ignorance from many talking heads. After she invited Chicago-born rapper Common to the East Room for a night of poetry, the right-wing media contingent went into OVERDRIVE. Headlines splashed across my screens about “cop killer” and “anarchist rapper.” Apparently these folks don’t know that Common’s albums are sold at Starbucks and that artistic expression isn’t a crime. The Post’s Dan Zak reports on the event. Also, this is my favorite Common song and video of all time.

D.C.’s new attorney general is going after his first big fish. Irvin B. Nathan’s office is investigating the company that controls more than 150 gas stations in the area for potential anti-trust violations. The man in the crosshairs is Eyob “Joe” Mamo, who has slowly built his empire as an owner, operator and supplier over 25 years. The Post’s Mike DeBonis reports that the AG’s office will “explore whether Mamo’s dual role as a station owner and gas wholesaler represents an illegal restraint of trade.”

If you take a quick drive out Route 123 in Virginia or River Road in Maryland, you’ll notice the houses quickly begin to look the same. Or if you ride out past American University into the calm climate of Spring Valley, you’ll notice a similar look as well. McMansions are everywhere in certain DMV locales, but nationally they are trending downward. Slate’s Witold Rybczynski surmises that “when the housing market returns, we’ll want smaller homes built closer together.”

Newly acquired Redskins quarterback John Beck during his first practice with the team. (John McDonnell)
Get ready Redskins fans, the John Beck era could be nearing. The relative no-name who’s been hanging around the franchise while the Rex Grossman/Donovan McNabb circus played out in front of us has now moved to the forefront of the QB battle. According to The Post’s Mike Jones, head coach Mike Shanahan says he considered Beck the best QB of the 2007 draft. If you’re wondering, Beck went to BYU and has red hair.

Extra Bites

• The image of the angry black woman has become a mainstay of reality television, to the chagrin of many. The “wives” genre has been a main vehicle of said stereotype, but The Root’s Michael Arceneaux wants to point out a few positives worth publicity.

• Remember that Facebook third-party application leak that had you freaking out and changing all your passwords like a maniac? Yeah, they fixed that.

• Somebody pulled the old “Caution: Zombies ahead” trick on the W&OD trail. Innovative.

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By  |  01:12 PM ET, 05/12/2011

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