City Desk

The Needle: Administrative Leave Edition

The Bike Rent Is Too Damn High: Membership has its privileges, according to American Express. Capital Bikeshare apparently agrees. The service is raising fees for casual users by 33 percent, as well as hiking the cost of a 24-hour membership from $5 to $7. Longer-term members won't pay more—which is to say, finally, the tourists are subsidizing the rest of us. Now if only we could get them to stand to the right. +2

There Is No Sex In the Champagne Room Or The Reeves Center: Attention D.C. government employees thinking of having sex in your office or your city-issued car, then sending explicit emails to your partner from your DC.gov address on your city-issued BlackBerry—think again. The workers who did that at the Reeves Center last year, and also the husband of the woman involved (who allegedly broke into her office and email to find proof of the affair) have all been placed on administrative leave. +1

The Sky Is Falling: Finally some good news in the "nature" category, after earthquakes and hurricanes and what not. The Orionid meteor shower peaks tonight, and weather types say viewing conditions around the District will be good for seeing shooting stars. Of course, if you're actually in the District, your view of the night sky will be drowned out by light pollution. But if you hit the road now, you should be able to get somewhere dark and rural by after midnight tonight, when the peak will occur. +1

Good Luck, Mr. Vice President: Except when Dick Cheney is running the country from the Naval Observatory, the office of vice president is famously powerless (see former VP John Nance Garner's famous quote; also see Dan Quayle). Still, it's not actually as horrible as a Washington Times headline mistake today made it seem. The paper incorrectly, albeit briefly, blared "White House Backs Biden's Rape, Murder" from its website this morning, before adding "Remarks" a bit later. (Biden had suggested more Americans would be raped and killed if Republicans successfully blocked the administration's economic plan.) You'd think just replacing him on the ticket next year would be enough to do the trick. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 58 Today's score: +3 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 63

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