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No Taxation Without Starvation: Getting D.C. representation in Congress turns out to be physically hard work. The last remaining protester from the Occupy D.C. movement who’s on a hunger strike to demand voting rights, Adrian Parsons, has lost 25 pounds in three weeks. He’s consuming only vitamins and water, enhanced with electrolytes. Parsons’ doctors have told him his kidneys are stressed, but he’s otherwise doing fine. Which is good—since chances are Congress won’t be meeting his demands any time soon. -2
Killing Is Out, School Is In: There are still a few days left in 2011, so maybe we shouldn’t talk about the stats yet. But if current trends hold up through Sunday, the District will end 2011 with the lowest homicide total since 1963. Through today, the city had seen 108 murders this year (all chronicled at Homicide Watch). The murder rate is low, too, at about 5.6 per 100,000 residents. Overall, though, total crime was up 3 percent this year. +1
Occupied: Speaking of crime, the Fraternal Order of Police says more crime has occurred around the city since the Occupy D.C. camp set up in McPherson Square. That’s because, the union argues, cops are being pulled there to keep an eye on protesters instead of doing their usual jobs. Seems like the number of variables involved in crime rate fluctuations is large enough that blaming any one factor in and of itself is a bit of a stretch. And besides, doesn’t the FOP usually prefer to just blame Cathy Lanier? -1
Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Turns out overturning the District’s gun control laws won’t be quite as lucrative as it first appeared. A court ruled today that the city will have to pay lawyers for Dick Anthony Heller $1.3 million for more than 1,500 hours of work on the landmark Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, that resulted in D.C. gun rules being thrown out. The lawyers, though, had initially asked for $3.1 million. Maybe they should just stick the District government up? -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 50 Today’s score: -3 Today’s Needle rating: 47