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Run Rusty Run: No one on Twitter could resist the Edward Snowden–Rusty the Red Panda parallels this morning, as news of the panda’s disappearance from the National Zoo broke. Both were sought by federal agencies (the entire national security apparatus in Snowden’s case, the zoo in Rusty’s), both had escaped from locations that should have been tough to sneak out of (Hong Kong, the red panda enclosure), and both are known to subsist mainly on bamboo. Wait, what? Well, OK, maybe the parallels weren’t perfect. At any rate, Rusty, it turns out, was actually carrying on a long tradition of members of his species fleeing confinement in zoos. +5
Siren Song: Look, it’s fine if you want to put out that burning building and all, but could you do it a little more quietly? -2
Make Money Fast: The D.C. government will take in $600 million more over the next five years than previously planned, setting up another huge budget surplus. Maybe the city can donate some of it to the Smithsonian to improve security at the red panda exhibit? +3
West Side Story: Why do businesses move near McLean, Great Falls, and Potomac, instead of staying in the District or going to sites in eastern Montgomery County or Prince George’s County? Because their CEOs tend to live in the ritzier ZIP codes. -2
Friday’s Needle rating: 62 Today’s score: +4 Today’s Needle rating: 66