City Desk

The Needle: Cuts Like a Knife Edition

Automatic For The People: The latest failure of Congress to get anything done won't just result in deserved mockery of the Supercommittee's name—it could also kill the local economy. The automatic cuts in federal spending that would be triggered in 2013, thanks to the committee's inability to agree on other ways to reduce the budget deficit, would take economic growth to zero in the area, local economy guru Stephen Fuller estimates. Then again, that would still put the D.C. area in better shape than most of the rest of the country. -3

Occupy The Budget: District officials say they're not ready to endorse pepper-spraying Occupy protesters quite yet, but the grumbling from authorities about the encampment in McPherson Square continues. Word came today that the District has spent $1 million over the last two months maintaining a police presence near the protests and marches. But considering the protests are calling attention to things like the vacant Franklin School, making McPherson Square feel lived in, and providing a new live music venue, it may be worth the cost. Of course, one way to cut expenses: Send fewer cops to the park. -1

Long Way Down: The escalator at the Rosslyn Metro station is the third-longest in the world. So falling down it would seem like the sort of thing you might have to be drunk to do. And in fact, that's exactly what Metro officials say caused a guy to do just that Friday evening, after having "several" alcoholic beverages, then trying to sit on the railing. He was treated at George Washington University Hospital and released. -1

I'm A Loser Baby: For a moment Sunday, it almost looked like the Washington Redskins would pull it off—not just an upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but also a win over the growing certainty most fans have that this year's team, despite all the promises from various fellows named Shanahan, is just not very good. And then, in a flash (or rather, a missed Graham Gano field goal in overtime), it was all over. Dallas won, 27-24. Afterwards, sports talk radio was full of discussion of "moral victories," but wide receiver Jabar Gaffney wasn't buying it; he took to Twitter to tell a Cowboys fan to kill himself. -3

Friday's Needle rating: 59 Today's score: -8 Today's Needle rating: 51

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