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No Representation, No Taxation: Maybe this Republican takeover of the House won’t be as bad for D.C. as people initially feared? The potent combination of Tea Party tax phobias and GOP interest in meddling in our municipal affairs has Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, musing that the District should simply be excluded from having to pay federal income taxes. On the plus side, that would put us in the same status as Puerto Rico (just without the beaches). On the minus side, becoming a tax haven would probably make it impossible for non-zillionaires to live here. Then again, that’s already happening; may as well get some cash back for it! +3
Protect and Serve (With Happy Ending): Police work can be very risky, dangerous, and difficult. Most of the time. Other times, it can involve shower massages, at least according to a report on an investigation into prostitution in the District. The investigation did lead to several arrests, as well as some comments Presumably, this will help the Metropolitan Police Department with recruiting. -2
Dinosaur Disaster?: A huge plume of smoke rose up from the National Mall this morning during rush hour. Turned out an outbuilding at the National Museum of Natural History was on fire, threatening to seriously disrupt the commute and—worse—endanger wooly mammoth skeletons, Neanderthal dioramas, and dinosaur bones. Happily, the fire was put out without any damage to the museum. Unhappily, the photos of the fire looked so striking that it’s virtually guaranteed to have inspired a scene in a future sequel to National Treasure. -2
Maryland, My Maryland, Cartography Edition: Drive along I-68 heading through western Maryland, and if you’re not going too fast, you may notice some curious signs indicating that you’re not too far from “Negro Mountain.” (For good measure, there’s a “Polish Mountain” nearby, too.) Since it’s actually 2011, not 1874, Maryland lawmakers are thinking about renaming both mountains sometime soon. Maybe next they’ll take a look at the other verses in the state’s anthem? +1
Friday’s Needle rating: 56 Today’s score: 0 Today’s Needle rating: 56