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Tips For Thomas: Now that Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. has been formally charged by federal prosecutors for theft and filing false tax returns, the question becomes: What’s next? Loose Lips is on it, musing about who could run to replace Thomas (should he resign, which he hasn’t formally done yet), and getting tips from other politicians who have gone to jail, including a disgraced Philadelphia councilmember, Jimmy Tayoun. “It’s all mental,” Tayoun says. “It’s nothing big.”  Optimism! +3

Did They Get $1 Million? We don’t like this lede: “Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a 7-month-old golden retriever puppy Wednesday in Middletown, according to County Animal Control Director Harold Domer.” This is the second time a pet has been killed with a gunshot in the area this week. It’s unclear if they’re participating in the kill-your-pet-for-a-million-dollars experiment Slate writer Matthew Yglesias touted yesterday. -5

Safe Travels: Nearly 100 of D.C.’s National Guard soldiers are deploying to Afghanistan. Reports WJLA: “This is the 22nd post-9/11 deployment for the D.C. National Guard, with 32 of the guardsmen headed out for a second tour of duty.” Good luck, and come home safely. -1

Marion Barry, Brought To You By White People: At least according to Marion Barry: “I have more white support than people say I do, but I don’t worry about that,” Barry told Huffington Post D.C. “That’s what frustrates some of these white people out here. They get frustrated, all worked up. They can’t do a damn thing to me or about me. Isn’t that funny?” Hilarious. -3

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 49 Today’s score: -6 Today’s Needle rating: 43