City Desk

The Needle: Happy Hanukkah Edition

But Does He Like Us, Like Us?: At one point during the mayoral primary, Vince Gray aides e-mailed around a photo of their man shaking hands with President Obama during a chance encounter at a Washington Mystics game. They can now update that with a new shot; Gray, the District's next mayor, joined Obama for lunch at the White House today. Afterwards, he told reporters Obama is a big fan of all things D.C. We'll believe Gray really has the president's ear when he gets Obama to go hand-dancing with him. +2

Four Loko Bubble: The next time you spot any Four Loko in the corner store, buy the whole supply. The caffeinated alcohol has now been banned in Baltimore and in Howard County, Md., which could mean cagey Washingtonians who corner the market on the stuff get rich off Marylanders looking to score some. Most likely, though, what it means is you'll have a lot of caffeinated alcohol sitting around your house; don't drink it all in one sitting, or–if even 25 percent of the alarming rhetoric about the drink is true—you will probably die. -1

Faster Phones: Happy news for frustrated pub quiz junkies around town—soon, you'll be able to cheat by Googling answers to trivia questions on your cell phone that much faster. Verizon Wireless announced today that its new 4G service will debut in D.C. and 37 other cities on Dec. 5. For now, though, Verizon doesn't actually sell any phones that can use the new technology. Still! The future is now+1

Banned in D.C.: Republicans haven't even taken over the House yet, but they're already flexing their muscles, lambasting the National Portrait Gallery over Hide/Seek, an exhibit that deals with gay and lesbian identity in the arts. D.C. gallery Transformer has stepped in, though, to show the David Wojnarowicz video piece, A Fire in My Belly, that the Portrait Gallery yanked. Private enterprise, free from government interference—just what the GOP wants! +3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 46 Today's score: +5 First night of Hanukkah bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 53

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