City Desk

The Needle: Vs. Edition

The Post vs. Its Staff: The Post will be offering staff buyouts in an attempt to get rid of 48 employees, including Metro section staffers. Though the Metro staff is huge and covers a large region, we really hope the staff cuts don't mean stories about Falls Church dads who can't build treehouses go away. Also: We love a good acronym, but the so-called Separation Incentive Program, a.k.a. SIP, ought to come with a bottle of booze to sweeten the deal. These are journalists, after all. -3

Snow vs. You: It's wet and cold outside—and federal workers were allowed to work from home today in case the expected snow, which has yet to materialize, would lead to a repeat of last year's long march home. Heavy handed, yes, but better safe than sorry and all that. +2

D.C. vs. Harry Thomas Jr.: HTJ probably won't be paying the District back the $300,000 he owes, and going after his house isn't a viable option since it's in his wife's name. DCist notes: "Beyond what Thomas owes D.C., he's still on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes on the money he stole. He's to be sentenced in May for stealing the money, and face anywhere from three to four years in prison." (And a theory from your Needler: There are very few cases in which someone whose name isn't on the deed of the house he lives in—and presumably pays—for isn't trying to get over, right?). -4

Cameroon vs. Harvard University: Harvard University wants the building currently being used by the Cameroon embassy vacated: "the university is arguing that the African nation's mission in Washington had the option to extend its lease for the building but failed to do so. And now Harvard wants Cameroon out. The embassy signed a lease with the university in April 2010 to use the entire Georgetown building as its chancery building on Massachusetts Avenue was being renovated." In the battle of diplomats versus the university with a multi-billion dollar endowment, we wonder if it's possible for them both to lose. -2

Monday's Needle rating: 41 Today's score: -7 Today's Needle rating: 34

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