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We Need Some Money: Turns out having large numbers of people out of work is bad for municipal finances. (Who would have guessed?) District officials say sales and income taxes will bring in about $100 million less than expected. On top of that, D.C. Public Schools spent $25 million more than budgeted, and Congress cut Medicaid reimbursements to the city by at least $33 million—adding up to a projected deficit of $175 million for fiscal year 2011, which begins on Friday. Good thing the recession’s officially over and we don’t ever have to worry about money again! -5

Obama School-o-Rama: Appearing on NBC’s Today Show, President Barack Obama declares there’s just no way his daughters Sasha and Malia could have gotten a decent education in DCPS. Going on about out-of-boundary lotteries, Obama sounded briefly like any other over-educated, well-paid, gentrifying liberal—before admitting that, gee, yes, with his job, he probably could have gotten his daughters spots in, well, any school in the District, and then basically dodging the issue of why he sends them to Sidwell Friends instead. Cue more national media coverage of how Vincent Gray defeated Michelle Rhee in our recent primary in 3, 2, 1… -3

Southwest Invades National: Who needs seat assignments? Discount giant Southwest Airlines plans to buy AirTran for $1.4 billion, which would bring Southwest’s anarchic, but cheap, system to DCA. (It already has a large presence at Dulles and BWI.) The deal would mean lower fares—if Southwest officials can be believed. Which, since they’re trying to win approval from regulators for the merger, they probably can’t. Oh well. +2

Redskins Trampled by Rams: Last year, the Redskins managed to beat the St. Louis Rams, 9-7, in a horribly boring game that nevertheless stood out at the end of the year because it was one of the only four games in which the team triumphed. Yesterday, the Redskins managed to lose to the Rams, 30-16, in a horribly frustrating game that, sadly, looks like it’s going to be easily forgotten amidst a pile of other pathetic losses. Even worse news: Dan Snyder did not relinquish control of the team in disgust over its performance. -3

Friday’s Needle rating: 63 Today’s score: -9 Today’s Needle rating: 54