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99 Problems But a Motorcade Ain’t One: Turns out the list of celebrities who’ve gotten police escorts through the District doesn’t begin and end with Charlie Sheen and Fran Drescher. Internal Metropolitan Police Department records show Jay-Z and Bill Gates have also sped through D.C. with flashing lights. Gates’ escort cost $445.68, and Jay-Z’s cost $1,114.20. Both zoomed between Dulles and destinations in the District. No matter what else, Gates should certainly have to wait for red lights; it’s payback for every time a Washingtonian’s copy of Microsoft Word has frozen. -2
USA Today Gets Results: Back in the day, people used to mock USA Today for being an unserious newspaper. Now, any newspaper that’s still got enough readers to be worth publishing daily gets some automatic respect. USAT ought to get a little more now: A District investigation following up on the paper’s story about cheating on standardized tests found that, indeed, there was cheating, and the results from three classrooms have been thrown out. Prediction: This will not calm the ongoing battles in town about what kind of legacy Michelle Rhee left behind when she split for California. -2
Weeded Out: Worries that medical marijuana would mean a huge influx of pot to the District (which, really, wouldn’t have been so bad) seem to have been completely misplaced. So far, only 11 applicants have put in to run “cultivation centers” to grow the, uh, medicine, and only nine have applied to sell it. (The Rabbi of Pot is one of them.) Two would be in Northeast, and one would be near Eastern Market along Pennsylvania Avenue SE. One would be somewhere in Ward 2. Not exactly Amsterdam-esque. You’ve got another month or so if you want to get in on the action. +1
100 Percent Chance of Weather: May and June in D.C. tend to mean one thing: Thunderstorms. Okay, two things: Thunderstorms, and lots of ’em. Today is no exception. A serious storm front is rolling through the area; a tornado was already spotted on the Eastern Shore, and the D.C. area is under a severe thunderstorm watch until 9 p.m., with a chance of winds up to 70 m.p.h. Maybe the end of the world guy was only a few days off? -1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 65 Today’s score: -4 Today’s Needle rating: 61