The Power Of Pepco: Next time the lights go off during a thunderstorm, and you grumble about the rates you’re paying for electricity, just remember they could be higher, if Pepco wasn’t getting so much money back from the feds. Turns out the company paid an effective federal tax rate of -57 percent over the last three years, thanks to loopholes Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has seen fit to make available to corporations. The utility paid the lowest tax rate of any company in the nation, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. -2

#OccupyTheSenate: Unemployment in the District was 11.1 percent in September. Which meant there was no shortage today of unemployed D.C. residents to stage a protest in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s office. The Kentucky Republican didn’t meet with the group (in part because they occupied his Russell Building office, not the main one he uses in the Capitol). Something tells us he won’t rush to hire any of them, despite their clear skills in generating media attention. +2

What’s In A Name?: The days of ever-expanding Metro station names are over—mostly. The Metro board voted to scale back most hyphenated names to emphasize just one part of the cumbersome terms that have sprung up in recent years, except in a few cases where—either due to neighborhood protests or changing geography nearby—they kept compound names around. So much for our plans for the Woodley Park-Zoo-Adams Morgan-Washington City Paper stop on the Red Line. +2

Lanier Likes It Here: Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier is one of the most popular figures in local government (admittedly, the bar’s kind of low these days). So chances are, she’ll get her wish when she asks Mayor Vince Gray to keep her on after her current contract expires. No word on whether Gray plans to replace her with Sulaimon Brown. +1

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 38 Today’s score: +3 Today’s Needle rating: 41