City Desk

The Needle: Dollar and a Dream Edition

Today's Needle Rating: 65

No Taxation Without Taxation Without Representation: Tired of watching the District get shoved around by the feds? Just this once, savor the usual order of things being reversed. The IRS announced today that federal income taxes will be due on Monday, April 18, instead of Friday, April 15, because April 15 is Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday. Power to the people! (On April 18, of course, the District's 600,000 residents will still all have to pay taxes to fund a federal government in which we have no voice in Congress.) +2

Flip That White House: Lest any Tea Party types get any ideas about cutting the federal budget deficit, a home equity loan against 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW isn't likely to yield as much cash as it would have before the economy collapsed. A new estimate says the White House would fetch about $253.1 million if it were sold, down 23.5 percent from $331.5 million at the height of the housing boom. And to think people say D.C. home prices have held their value! -1

Flip That Mayor: The District's 10 percent unemployment rate was a frequent topic during the run-up to the September primary between Then Mayor Adrian Fenty and Now Mayor Vince Gray. For statistical reasons, if nothing else, Gray may be pleased to learn today that Fenty won't be adding to the ranks of unemployed Washingtonians. The one-time wünderkind of city politics has signed up with the Greater Talent Network as a "national leader in the area of urban education reform" who will give speeches on the topic of "Changing Tomorrow, Today." With catchy slogans like that, it's hard to believe he lost! +2

Millions and Millions: The recent decision by the D.C. Lottery to join Mega Millions as well as Powerball could pay off tonight for some lucky Washingtonian, as the jackpot in the Mega Millions drawing has hit $330 million. Yes, we know, playing the lottery is not a particularly wise use of one's hard-earned money. But the way prices are going, can you even buy a dream for $1 anywhere else anymore? +1 UPDATE: The D.C. Lottery now says the jackpot is $355 million, up from $330 million. Players win! Winners play!

Let the Eagle Soar (No More): The bald eagle is the symbol of America. But we'll leave it up to semioticians (or, as Dan Brown would call them, "symbologists") to decode the layers upon layers of meaning in the news that the National Zoo had to euthanize Sam, one of only two bald eagles in the park, on Dec. 31. Sam lived a hard life; she came to D.C. a refugee, after being found in Alaska with a gunshot wound in 1986. More bad news, symbolism-wise: The zoo's other eagle isn't even on display, moved to an undisclosed location because of construction on the seal and sea lion exhibit. -4

Yesterday's Needle rating: 65 Today's score: 0 Today's Needle rating: 65

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