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Economic Cuteness Stimulus: Sure, baby lions are cute to look at (for hours on end). But with major defense cuts poised to dampen the regional economy in the years to come, we’ll need every revenue generator we can get. Maybe increased tourism to the National Zoo will stabilize our shaky fiscal future? Here’s to hoping! +3

Not Again! Uh oh, another tractor protest! Remember the last time that happened? While this Tractor Man doesn’t claim to have a bomb (and has legitimate policy issues to discuss), it brings up bad memories of a gridlocked downtown. -2

Watch Your Step: If you walk down the 1300 block of U Street NW, prepare to deal with crowded conditions. The already compact sidewalk conditions have been made worse by new DDOT muni-meters! (Though it might not be as bad as the 1700 block of U Street where rats can jump out of nowhere as you’re trying to share the narrow sidewalk. -1

This Show’s Still On? Like taking a puff from a cigarette, every time the name Michaele is blogged, we all die a little bit on the inside. And the Reliable Source takes us all one step closer to death every Friday. -2

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 53 Today’s score: -1 Extra Friday bonus points: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 52