Fully Unloaded: The job of D.C. Council chairman just got a lot less attractive; sure, there’s the $190,000 annual salary, and the ability to boss around the other members of the legislature (though admittedly, that only goes so far). But as of today, Kwame Brown no longer gets a car. Mayor Vince Gray, apparently realizing that there was some political advantage to be gained by cleaning up the council’s mess, ordered city officials to break the leases on the two Lincoln Navigators Brown had ordered. We’re worried that without perks like free luxury SUVs, the D.C. Council won’t be able to attract the high caliber of candidates that it has so far. (Which is, actually, pretty worrying.) +3

Tickets, Please: Fortunately for all concerned, there’s more D.C. Council mess left to clean up. Besides their apparent fondness for free luxury vehicles, our elected leaders also enjoy a nice free sky suite at Verizon Center. And they’re upset with Brown for not distributing their free tickets more regularly. Some of the legislators claim they want to give tickets to constituents, but Ward 1’s Jim Graham tells The Washington Post he wants to go see Lady Gaga this week. By the way: Graham, like all the other council members (besides the better-paid Brown) who are, remember, demanding free tickets, makes $125,583 per year. -3

Bus Stops on the Bus Go Round and Round: Discount buses to New York had a good thing going: Low prices, free WiFi (which often worked!), plentiful trips, and convenient central locations to board from. Strike that last one. With construction beginning on CityCenterDC, the former convention center site is no longer available for Megabus and Boltbus boarding. Boltbus will move to New Jersey Avenue and F Street NW, and Megabus is shifting to North Capitol and K streets. Fortunately, with the economy as bad as it is, there should be plenty of empty lots around town in case those new locations don’t work out. -2

#TBDLightsOut: Turns out the future of journalism looks a lot like the present of journalism—layoffs, unexpected mission shifts, and lousy treatment by the corporate honchos. Barely six months into what was originally promised to be a three-to-five year “runway” to try to reinvent local news coverage, TBD.com is scaling way back, laying off a dozen people, ditching most news and sports coverage, and losing a lot of the innovative features that won it so much attention. The only thing reinvented? TBD, which will become a “niche” arts and entertainment site. At least the job market for laid off journalists is robust, with massive salaries on offer all over the place! Oh, wait. From everyone at Washington City Paper to everyone at TBD: Good luck. -3

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 42 Today’s score: -5 Today’s Needle rating: 37

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