City Desk

The Needle: Surveillance Blimp Edition

Zeppelin Security: The Army is planning to deploy 74-meter blimps over the District to keep us safe from aerial threat. At 10,000 feet above the ground, the blimps will be able to scan for missiles, drones, and ships—they'll see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The good news: No one will be able to sneak up on us. The bad news: The government is hiring a defense contractor to float surveillance blimps above us, 24 hours a day. -2

Free D.C.: A House committee approved a bill to let the District have more control over its own money. Still plenty of time for Congress to tack on unrelated provisions that set parameters on how the District spends its own money. +1

So Long and Thanks for All the Tea: A marketing gimmick disguised as an experiment to see if people would pay for bottles of Honest Tea left unattended but for a sign asking for $1 per bottle yielded pretty much the expected results—free publicity for Honest Tea. Also, someone stole the CEO's bike here in D.C. -1

Rest for the Weary: Pigskins quarterback Robert Griffin III says he won't play in the team's preseason games "unless it's a necessity." Since the main point of the preseason is to charge ticketholders for two additional games, that won't happen—which means RG3's knee, injured as the 'Skins lost a playoff game in January, will get some additional time off. +1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 54 Today's score: -1 Today's Needle rating: 53

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  1. #1

    So how do these blimps stay in place? Most likely is a cable to the ground. That will require a huge no-fly zone around the anchor otherwise transiting aircraft my get tangled up in their wires.

    Will these blimps be able to detect a terrorist smuggling in a dirty bomb in a refrigerator-sized container? That is one of the largest unspoken fears of national security types.

    It will be good to have a defense against the weapons of the last war (cold war). Good job homeland security.

  2. #2

    Great. Maybe next we can start building a giant meteor deflector dome over DC.

    Are there any other ways to piss money away we can dream up that are equally dumb?

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