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Occupiers on the March: The distance, on foot, from Zuccotti Park to McPherson Square is about 230 miles. The few dozen protesters who made the trip or joined it along the way as it passed various Occupy encampments arrived in the District today—a day after the so-called “supercommittee” quit work on a budget deal, but hey, that’s not the protesters’ fault (and besides, Congress didn’t seem likely to listen to them in the first place). The more people in downtown D.C. parks, the better, after all. +2
Bikes on the Mall: The day the small crowd of people who spend their time dreaming about transportation options on the National Mall thought would never come as finally arrived—the National Park Service is proposing five Capital Bikeshare stations on its property. One would be near the Smithsonian Metro, one near the Washington Monument, one by the Lincoln Memorial, one by the FDR Memorial, and one near the Jefferson Memorial. No word on whether the bikes will be painted blue in honor of the late, not-so-lamented TourMobile. +3
Wal-Mart on the Make: When the world’s largest retailer wanted to come to the District, it didn’t take much persuading—D.C. officials were aching for Wal-Mart, and the store didn’t really have to bring much in the way of lobbying. Which meant the city had almost no leverage to get the store to do anything outside the realm of its usual business practices, like, oh, paying a living wage, or hiring union workers. Still, the Bentonville, Ark., posse agreed today to a community benefits deal that commits it to job fairs, Bikeshare stations, not selling guns, and a few other nods to the criticism of the chain. Which, considering the way the D.C. government fell all over itself to get the store in town, is probably about as good as it gets. +1
Mummies on the Move: These days, if you want to bring in tourists, mummified human bodies just aren’t enough. So the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is going all-out, with cat mummies, crocodile mummies, snake mummies, and raptor mummies (no, not these raptors). The museum is opening a permanent Egyptology exhibit with more mummies than ever before. If only they had mummified one of the museum’s popular dinosaurs, they could really pack in the crowds. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 51 Today’s score: +7 Today’s Needle rating: 58