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All Your Budget Are Belong to Us: All the tax talk up on Capitol Hill must be contagious. The D.C. Council approved a plan to close this year’s $188 million budget deficit without raising taxes on anyone, defeating one plan that would have had millionaires paying more, and another that would have raised rates for the whole District. Instead, the council will furlough city employees for four days and cut social service programs. Downright Scrooge-like. -4
Bye Bye, Brickskeller?: One of D.C.’s oldest beer bars may be closing up soon. Reports haven’t been confirmed officially yet, but it sounds like The Brickskeller will be sold, with its name changed in the process. Sure, the chances that the bar would actually have in stock whatever obscure beer you ordered off its menu weren’t great. But any time an institution closes shop, it’s a shame. -3
Pay Up, Albert: The Washington Redskins season began with drama over how much of a $21 million bonus the team would have to pay mascot defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who didn’t want to go along with a shift to a new formation. In the end, they paid him all of the bonus, and the way the season’s unfolded, Haynesworth may have been right to resist the new defensive scheme. But now the year’s close to ending, and with more Fat Albert drama: the team suspended Haynesworth for four games, costing him $847,000 in paychecks. The only downside here is that means there won’t be any more opportunities to watch him lie down on the field while an opposing quarterback coasts to a touchdown. +2
Cloudy With a Chance of Bugs: If the cold wasn’t dreary enough, just wait—it turns out any warming trend is bad news, too. Because warmer temperatures will unleash a plague of stinkbugs of Biblical proportions. Evidently, the creatures burrow into homes during warm falls, then hibernate during cold spells. Which means the best bet now is to pray for Siberian winds to descend. -2
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 47 Today’s score: -7 Today’s Needle rating: 40