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Taxi Commission Über Alles: iPhone-friendly car service Uber made a big splash when it arrived in D.C. from San Francisco, with lots of friendly tweets and a fancy lunch for the media. And then New Year’s Eve happened. Customers complained that the service’s “dynamic pricing” resulted in outlandish bills to get home early on Jan. 1. Which was probably bad enough for Uber, but now they’re also fending off an assault by D.C. taxi bureaucrats, who say it may be operating illegally. An illegal luxury car service—is this D.C., or Moscow? +1
She’s Baaa-aack: Two years ago, the National Portrait Gallery managed to embarrass itself by caving to demands by Republicans in Congress to remove some gay-themed art from an exhibit of, well, gay-themed art. The woman who launched the crusade against David Wojnarowicz‘s “A Fire in my Belly,” activist Penny Starr, is trying to repeat her feat now. The gallery is running an exhibit on Gertrude Stein, which Starr thinks is inappropriate because…wait for it…Stein was gay. So far, this time, no one seems to care. -1
Game On: Snow in Concord, N.H., today meant a delegation of D.C. officials scrubbed a trip there to testify in support of a bill in the New Hampshire legislature that would (non-bindingly) put the Granite State on record wanting the District to be a state. Apparently the weather forecast for Jan. 27 looks clear; the hearing, and thus the trip, is back on for then. Unless it hails, or rains frogs. +1
The City That Raids: Baltimore, we all know, is no D.C. On the other hand, the minor metropolitan area to our north does have one thing Washingtonians haven’t enjoyed in quite some time: a decent football team. So the Ravens are trying to recruit fans from Redskins territory, as they continue their purple-and-black march through the NFL playoffs. Various Ravens say everyone here should root for them, since, alas, the Redskins are mostly booking golf vacations right about now. Does that mean everyone will soon stop yelling “O!” during the national anthem at D.C. sporting events? -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 39 Today’s score: 0 Today’s Needle rating: 39