We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

HTJ, Exit Stage Left: Stealing $350,000 from the District’s coffers nets you 38 months in federal prison. Or at least, that’s what it netted former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. today, as a federal judge sentenced him to that plus another 36 months of probation for crimes he pleaded guilty to in January. The sentencing brings an end to one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of D.C. politics. A special election to replace Thomas is about two weeks away. -6

Conservative + Paleontology = Paleocon?: The trend of outrageously rich people paying for things the U.S. government should, theoretically, be paying for on its own as a matter of cultural patrimony continued today, as gazillionaire industrialist David Koch pledged $35 million to renovate the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Koch joins gazillionaire hedge fund founder David Rubenstein, who recently put money up for the National Zoo’s pandas and the Washington Monument and lent his copy of Magna Carta to the National Archives. Koch, of course, is better known these days as a patron of right-wing causes than as a patron of dinosaur preservation; considering he’s gotten rich off oil production, we suppose it’s only fitting that he help spruce up the bones of the animals that the stuff is made of. +1

IPOs R Us: Speaking of Carlyle, the investment firm went public today, in a stock offering that wasn’t quite as highly anticipated as Facebook’s, but which is likely to make some of the area’s richest people even richer. The company sold only 10 percent off, but still managed to raise $671 million. Shares closed up five cents from the $22 they opened at. All that is, presumably, good news for pandas. +1

Your Attitude Is Officially Natted: Mayoral proclamations come in all forms, from the serious to the silly. Far be it from us to determine where Mayor Vince Gray‘s declaration that this weekend is “Natitude Weekend” falls on that spectrum. The Washington Nationals host the Philadelphia Phillies in a weekend series that’s already gotten Sen. Bob Casey all hot and bothered, so it was probably inevitable that Gray—a baseball player in his youth—would get involved. Hopefully the Nats will comply with Gray’s orders and sweep the series. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 44 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle rating: 41