City Desk

The Needle: Save Us, John Beck, You’re Our Only Hope Edition

Eat Your Vegetables: For years, stereotypes of D.C. dining began and ended with lobbyists sitting in steakhouses, carving up the world along with their filets. That's now well out of date—and as a new survey shows, D.C. apparently has the highest percentage in the country of diners who eat vegetarian meals when visiting restaurants. Don't tell The Palm! +2

Republicans Squatting: Beleaguered D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. found time recently, between his official government duties and whatever worries he might have about a criminal investigation into his Team Thomas organization, to register for Twitter. When he did, he listed a website to reach him, HThomas5.org. Unfortunately for Thomas, he didn't bother registering that domain before taking the Twitter feed live—so the D.C. GOP bought it and redirected it to their own site bashing him. Just goes to show the Internet may be a rougher place than the Wilson Building. -1

Ethics R Us: As for the rest of the D.C. government, expect ethics to be in the front of everyone's mind from now on. Why? Because the city has posted signs with handy tips on whether or not to engage in unscrupulous behavior around official buildings. Among the questions employees should ask: "If you do it will you feel bad," "How would it look in the newspaper," and "Would I be proud to have my kids, parents, significant other know?" As DCist pointed out, though, apparently some folks could have used the poster around this time last year. -3

Beck to Basics: The Washington Redskins have finally remedied a glaring weakness in the team's offense—their quarterback has been, up to this week, Rex "Sexy Rexy" Grossman. The only problem with the team's announcement today of a new starting quarterback? That QB is John Beck, whose NFL career up to now has barely registered on the consciousnesses of the legions of stat geeks out there. Fans on the team-owned ExtremeSkins message board greeted the news with a long exploration of whether Beck is really, as Wikipedia reports, Glenn Beck's cousin. The rest of us mostly shrugged, and prepared for the inevitable moment Sunday when the team's promising start to the 2011-12 season slips further into distant memory. -2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 61 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 57

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