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Congestion Nation: Apparently traffic has gotten so bad that the Weather Channel has started covering it, as if it were a natural phenomenon like fog or a snowstorm. The network has a Thanksgiving travel rating up today, which ranks the southern portion of the Beltway the seventh-worst road in the nation this weekend. Friday, though, temperatures should warm up a little. -1
Okay, Fine, Touch My Junk: All the panic about how bad security lines would be at airports today turns out to have been in vain, as anecdotes and Twitter updates are pouring in from DCA, IAD, and BWI that everything’s moving just fine. Which means if you’re still on the way to the airport, you’ve got plenty of time to ask the the Transportation Security Administration to make out with you and still catch your flight! +2
Jobs Are Better Than Stuffing: A few years ago, it would have been tough to imagine treating word that D.C.’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent as good news. But we go to war with the economy Wall Street and decades of deregulation have left us with, not the economy we might wish we had. Which means today’s announcement—the fifth-straight month the unemployment rate has ticked down here—is actually something to welcome. The bad news, of course, is that lower unemployment most likely means more people have simply given up and stopped looking for work—thus rendering them officially invisible in labor statistics. Don’t think for a minute any politicians will let that stop them from hailing the news, though. +2
Playoffs?: Hope springs eternal in the hearts of Redskins fans; we went to a Chuck Brown show one summer at which the late Lil’ Benny led the crowd in a chant that the Skins were going to the Super Bowl, a few weeks before yet another losing season kicked off and only a few months after the losing season before that had ended. And so it’s hardly surprising that at 5-5, the team has people talking about how it could make the playoffs. Such talk is the very definition of preposterous optimism, but hey, it’s Thanksgiving. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 44 Today’s score: +4 Thanksgiving bonus: +4 (we like turkey) Today’s Needle rating: 52