News Bullets, 'snowmagedden' Friday;

Gay marriage is almost here! At 10:30 AM, Mayor Adrian Fenty will sign the same-sex marriage bill. The ceremony will take place at the All Souls Unitarian Church on 16th Street, in the heart of Ward 1. It looks like the civil war that Marion Barry promised might not erupt immediately, but the heavens are about to open up and sprinkle white death all over the District.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, and anything from zero inches to three feet of snow are being predicted for the region. Officially the storm warning mentions 8-10" of fluffy destruction, but some weather doomsayers are predicting snowfall to be measured in feet.

Here's my prediction for the stupid headlines if we do manage to get a real snowstorm:

White House buried in historic snowstorm as Obama attends Global Warming summit

D.C. paralyzed by snowstorm. 'Divine retribution' for gay marriage says local pastors

As per usual, now is about the time when everyone promptly freaks out about the snow. Will we prove to be flinty enough this year to survive? Given that this is D.C., snow forecasts are generally always incorrect. If these predictions hold true, this will be the first time the world has ended since the last time it ended, back in 2003. Next week will be a short work week for many, and it's possible that Monday could see the first snow day in a while. If you'll remember this past winter, newly inaugurated President Obama wanted the federal government to man up about the snow.

Moving along...

Metro outlines possible service cuts. GGW has a round-up of proposed service cuts to help Metro close a huge budget gap. Given the size of the budget problem, we are probably lucky to be escaping without much harsher cuts. I'm surprised that we aren't seeing any 'doomsday' proposals, such as stopping the Yellow Line at Pentagon or running four car trains on weekends.

Raid puts guns, drugs on the table. 44 suspects were arrested in a major drug and gun sting operation. Police seized millions in drugs, as well as 123 illegal weapons. This is a huge accomplishment for the multi-agency task force. MPD has been making some progress on crime this year, and violent crime remains down. However, that downward trend is mirrored in other cities, and compared to many other cities, crime is still higher in the District.

This brings us to something I've been wondering about...

Some critics have said that MPD should not get too much credit for the drop in violent crime because that drop has been seen in other cities. I've been a bit harsh on MPD Chief Lanier for making some outrageous statements and taking credit where credit may not be due. However, I'm interested in an answer to this question: What is the cause of the nationwide downward trend? Is there really just some sense of "let's not commit as much violent crime" sweeping our cities? It doesn't make sense that there's some mysterious force that has nothing to do with the actions of police departments that is resulting in a drop in crime. Does the economic downturn somehow explain it? That doesn't make much sense, either, most people would expect the opposite result (more robberies, etc). Interesting questions, to say the least. Anyone have any ideas?

Ok folks, back to work for me. Enjoy the weekend. It's three days until my birthday, so I'm hoping for a snowday on Monday.

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