City Desk

The Needle: General Election Edition

Today's Needle Rating: 47

D.C. Votes! The election that Professional Washington devoted its last year to predicting may be taking place everywhere but the District. But polls are open here in Our Nation's Capital, too. Not much drama to report: Even without Democratic primary loser Adrian Fenty's tepid opposition to a write-in effort on his behalf, it's a good bet that Vince Gray will emerge triumphant. Still, election made makes up for its lack of excitement via a dose of low-comedy: This morning, a District Board of Elections and Ethics tweet announced that a voter had tried to use a hand-stamp to write a candidate's name. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except that the voter was voting on a touch-screen ballot. +2

Moonies Rising. A year after gutting its staff, killing its Redskins coverage, and generally giving up the pretension that it was a normal newspaper and not a right-wing 'zine, The Washington Times says it's reviving sports, metro, and entertainment coverage. You'd have to be brainwashed in order to double-down on a broadsheet in the current media environment, right? Don't answer that: The changes were announced as control over the paper shifted from one feuding branch of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's family (the one that saw the paper as a giant money pit) to another (the one that spent a quarter-century shoveling dollars into said pit). +3

All the President's Rumormongers: Remember when the D.C. commentariat got all excited for about 24 hours about that rumor that Barack Obama would dump Joe Biden in favor of Hillary Clinton for the 2012 veep spot? "I kind of started the rumor," D.C. investigative-reporting super-duper-super-ace Bob Woodward told a Georgetown crowd, according to a Georgetown Dish report. (The audience laughed, according to the website's report.) We preferred it when Woodward was starting better rumors, like the one about how the President of the United States had conspired to cover up a break-in against the opposition party that was organized by his henchmen. But it would have been cool if he'd spent 1972 reporting on plans to drop Spiro Agnew, too. -3

So Devious it Just Might Work. So, here's the scheme. First, the Redskins get rid of Jason Campbell in favor of aging veteran Donovan McNabb. Then, they improbably bench McNabb at the climax of last week's game, and proceed to audition JaMarcus Russell—the very guy who Oakland cast off before they nabbed Campbell. A ludicrously bad trade-off...or a scheme so brilliant it could only have been hatched by the razor-sharp strategic mind of Daniel Snyder? You decide. -1.

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 46 Today’s score: +1 Today’s Needle rating: 47

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  • Typical DC BS

    Hand stamp with a touch screen voting system? Sounds like a DC voter alright.

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