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Meet the New Boss: For an ambitious young House Republican, overseeing the District isn’t a terrible gig. You get to tell 600,000 people what to do, without fear of retribution from any voting members of Congress, and without alienating your constituents back home, who don’t particularly care what the federal government’s doing to a bunch of Washingtonians. Which means Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina could be a new star soon, as he was named today to head the subcommittee that watches D.C. affairs. He’s no Jason Chaffetz, but who is? Gowdy’s district is one of the most conservative in the Palmetto State, including Greenville and Spartanburg—two cities that don’t have a whole lot in common with our own (Spartanburg has about 289,000 people, more than two-thirds of them white). Welcome, boss! -3
Obama Park: One surefire way to irritate Gowdy and the new Republican majority in Congress? Start naming things around town for President Obama. That seems to be what Councilmember Jim Graham has planned, as he reintroduced legislation today to name the park at 14th and Girard streets NW for the president. Graham first tried this in July 2009, a mere six months into Obama’s term; then, it was technically illegal, thanks to a provision of the D.C. Code that bars naming things for living people. +1
Ex Post Facto: Don’t be alarmed when you pick up Sunday’s Kaplan Test Prep Supplement Washington Post. Much of which, if you’re one of the dwindling number of locals who get home delivery service, will actually arrive on Saturday. The Post announced new features and formats for its Sunday sections today, including a tabloid-sized Style section that sounds an awful lot like another tabloid packed with information on pop culture and life in the District that you can find around town on Thursdays. But hey, if it means people are actually making money printing newspapers in Washington, we’re all for it! +2
Gay Marriage Saved: The institution of same-sex marriage doesn’t go back quite as long as the institution of opposite-sex marriage (or, as Carrie Prejean would put it, “opposite marriage“), but like all marriage these days, it, too, was under threat. The danger to D.C.’s same-sex marriages came from the Supreme Court. But fortunately, the court opted not to interfere with the District’s marriage equality law today, refusing to take up an appeal by opponents of the law who sought to force a referendum on it. Score it as a rare win for basic fairness and justice. +3
Metro Back in Business: News that Metro’s Red Line had trouble this morning shouldn’t have surprised anyone; after all, there was an ice storm, and Metro is perfectly capable of having difficulty when it’s warm and sunny. This time, an insulator burning on the tracks near Tenleytown slowed service, just in time for commuters arriving two hours later than usual to get stranded. By evening rush hour, things were working as normal again—which is to say, expect delays. -2
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 51 Today’s score: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 52