City Desk

The Needle: Memorial Day Edition

Goodbye, Godfather: When U.S. presidents die, they lie in state in the Capitol. Now that the Godfather of the Go-Go has died, he'll lie in state, too—in a much more befitting spot. Fans will be able to wish Chuck Brown off well at the Howard Theatre on Tuesday, where a public viewing will take place all day, and then again at a public funeral Thursday at the D.C. Convention Center. Wind us up one more time, Chuck. +3

Apology Tour, Continued: It's best, when apologizing for offending an ethnic group, not to offend another ethnic group in the process. But apparently no one told that to Marion Barry, as the Ward 8 councilmember used the term "Polacks," which most people of Polish descent find derogatory, while meeting with Asian American groups to apologize for bashing Filipino nurses and Asian-owned food stores. Barry has now apologized in a short statement for the second offense; hopefully there weren't enough words in that statement to fit any more insults. -2

Uberlegislation: Gadget-friendly car service Uber launched last year to great fanfare from its fans, and great consternation from D.C. taxi officials, who say the company is violating regulations on limos and cabs in the District. But that may soon be over—D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh, whose Ward 3 probably houses quite a few of the service's regular riders, has introduced a bill explicitly designed to make Uber street-legal. Which means the only reason to gripe about Uber will be its "surge pricing." +1

Exploitation, E-X-P-L-O-I-T-A-T-I-O-N, Exploitation: The Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off Tuesday afternoon at National Harbor, in yet another installment of the annual display of kids who make the rest of us feel lazy and stupid. This year, the youngest-ever contestant will be representing Virginia in the Bee: Lori Anne Madison, of Prince William County. Who is 6 years old. Expect lots of fawning talk about how tough a competitor she is on ESPN. Don't expect anyone to wonder why a kid who should be drawing chalk on the sidewalk is spelling complicated words live on a cable sports network. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 42 Today's score: +1 Friday bonus: +2 Memorial Day weekend bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 47

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