City Desk

The Needle: Strong Edition

The State of Our Union Is Strong: There's been more talk of seating charts this week in D.C. than there is on the first day of preschool, but with some luck, it'll all come to an end tonight, after President Obama delivers his State of the Union address at the Capitol. Streets around the Hill will be closed for security reasons, and also to prevent members of Congress from fleeing when they realize that sitting next to someone from the other party is intolerable. Buses will be rerouted, too. We still prefer this State of the Union to the televised one. +2

Doom from Above: So far this winter, New York has received approximately 7,000 inches of snow, while the District has barely mustered one. Allegedly, that changes tomorrow; forecasters are getting more and more worked up looking ahead to a weather system that could bring back not-so-fond memories of Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, and other named blizzards of yesteryear. (By which we mean, last year.) Confidential to V. Gray on Pennsylvania Avenue: Don't fly out to California tonight! +1

Babyland, Md.: Maryland is known as the Old Line State, apparently because George Washington was fond of its troops, and the Free State, evidently because it dallied in passing laws to enforce Prohibition. Lately, though, the powers-that-be in Annapolis may want to change the name to the For the Love of God Stop Having Your Babies On Our Highways State. For the third time in a week, a woman gave birth on a highway in Maryland, barely a month after another woman delivered on I-270 near Rockville. Perhaps The Wire can come back for a sixth season examining ob/gyn departments in Maryland? +2

Marriage Under Siege: Another day, another demonstration that the only real danger to marriage, since the District passed a law allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed, comes from Republicans in Congress. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who chairs the über-conservative Republican Study Committee, says he'll push legislation to undo D.C.'s marriage equality law, thereby undoing plenty of happy marriages while doing nothing at all to keep straight couples from divorcing at record rates. The good news? Jordan couldn't possibly get such a bill past Senate Democrats and the White House. The bad news? That won't stop him from trying. -4

Yesterday's Needle rating: 42 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 43

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