And it could be the one time Rummy said something accurate

Poor, poor D.C. What a mess. The murder counter jumped from 115 to 118... after a weekday. They're working hard down there. The percent change in homicides from last year has risen from +10% to over +14% in just the past week.

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has the audacity to suggest that the murder rate in D.C. is greater than that of Baghdad:

"You got to remember that if Washington, D.C., were the size of Baghdad, we would be having something like 215 murders a month," Rumsfeld said. "There's going to be violence in a big city."
Granted, this is an odd statement. Rummy's very much doing the apples-and-oranges thing here; D.C. is not a city recovering from a bloody war, and it also covers a tiny geographical area compared to Baghdad. There are only about 600,000 people in D.C., while there are about 5.5 million in Baghdad. On the other hand, the Washington metro area has about that many people, and certainly does not have 215 murders per month.

And, if Baghdad is like most American cities, its suburbs' murder rate is much lower than the central part of the city (and is filled with many more T.G.I.Ahmed's).

Still, his math is technically accurate:

It appears that Rumsfeld did his math, extrapolating the District's number of homicides last year -- 262 in a city of 576,000 residents -- to that of a city the size of Baghdad -- 5.5 million. That's roughly 215 murders a month.
Predictably, Rummy's feeling the ire of D.C. politicians who would prefer not to be compared to Baghdad, no matter how accurately.

"Secretary Rumsfeld should demonstrate a greater level of sensitivity to the challenges being faced by U.S. mayors and governors," [Mayor] Williams said. "He should also recognize that the interests of the United States are not advanced by diminishing the reputation and stature of our nation's capital."
Oops, you mean I'm not working in the best interests of the country? And here I thought I was a brewer and patriot. But I love the whining in the first part of that quote. Oh, boo-hoo, nobody appreciates the mayor, and how hard he works. It's very hard work figuring out new and creative ways to pay off your cronies.

"Your remarks are particularly injurious to our citizens here," [Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton] wrote. "D.C. residents are risking their lives in Iraq, even though District citizens have no voting representation in the House and no representation at all in the Senate, and even though our residents are second per capita in federal income taxes."
Yes, yes, we just can't hear enough about how the District has no representation. This is a perfect time to bring it up for the one billionth freaking time. News flash: the Republican-led Congress is not going to give you more representation. Move 10 miles in any direction if you want representation that badly.

So anyway, as the District bickers on about Rumsfeld's questionable yet technically accurate comparison, three people were murdered yesterday, and the police will probably only successfully solve one of those. D.C. politicians, instead of actually doing something about their Murder Capital title, try to deflect that image by bitching every time someone brings it up. That's not going to save any lives.

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