Good news about the District is at a premium these days, so when D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton found some she quickly alerted the world. In a floor speech last week, Norton informed her House colleagues that Places Rated Almanac had ranked Washington and environs as North America’s seventh most livable metropolitan area—a pretty impressive ranking, we’d say. Noting that the survey is based on such factors as transportation, health care, cost of living, and, yes, crime, Norton proclaimed: “Today’s high rating for Washington reveals how important it is to evaluate a city in light of all the ingredients that account for the quality of life….All that Washingtonians ask is that Congress judge us with the fairness and objectivity of the Places Rated Almanac.” Hear, hear: District residents clearly deserve a better rep, but Norton is ignoring the fact that the new book’s statistics are only so favorable because their definition of Washington includes everything from Frederick to Manassas and Fairfax to Montgomery. Norton also managed to overlook one other fact that critics won’t: In the previous edition of Places Rated Almanac, published in 1989, the Washington area ranked fourth.