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Pretty Please: In the grand hierarchy of actions that seem like good ideas but won’t actually amount to a whole lot, “starting a petition drive” falls somewhere a few levels of effectiveness behind “forming a blue-ribbon panel.” Which is why we don’t have great faith that a petition drive by local civil liberties groups against Metro’s new bag-searching policy will accomplish much. Metro, after all, is only marginally responsive to the demands of riders that they keep the trains running on time; surely they wouldn’t listen to reason on this unreasonable policy. But hey, at least someone’s trying! +1

I Want My Bus TV: Lately, the frigid weather has made using NextBus downright painful; who wants to take their gloves off long enough to fiddle around with an app to tell them when the (nice warm) bus is going to arrive? At 14th and U streets NW, riders no longer have to worry about that, as the District has installed a large monitor displaying bus arrivals, Capital BikeShare availability, and presumably, wind chill. Eventually the screens will be installed in bus shelters around the city. For now, though, you’ll still need to use NextBus to figure out the best way to get to 14th and U to check this one out. +2

City ISO Overlord: The District has about 600,000 residents and nearly as many credentialed members of the national press corps. So you’d think the chance to interfere in our municipal affairs would be hard for an ambitious House Republican to resist, if only for the obvious grandstanding opportunities. You would, apparently, be wrong; the GOP is having trouble finding someone to take on the chairmanship of the subcommittee that involves D.C. That no Republican wants the chance to rule our city may be even more of an indignity than the whole “taxation without representation” thing. Then again, maybe if no one wants the job, they’ll just leave us alone? +1

Rexy Not So Sexy: Changing the quarterback didn’t actually do much at all for the Redskins, who lost 33-31 to Dallas. For some reason, the fact that Rex Grossman threw four touchdowns is being taken as proof in some quarters that benching Donovan McNabb was wise; here at Washington City Paper, we’re a little more old-fashioned, so we have a tough time applauding the tactic, considering the team still didn’t win. Memo to Mike Shanahan: Moral victories, as Jay-Z reminds us, are for minor league coaches. (Though the way the Redskins are playing, it’s understandable if Shanahan thinks that’s what he is.) -2

Friday’s Needle rating: 53 Today’s score: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 55