My brief is really to write about national issues here, but since one big problem with urban governance is that there's a fairly impoverished public sphere for discussion of local politics with the consequence that there's a tendency for squeaky wheels to dominate things. Thus, I might note that DC Mayor Adrian Fenty seemed completely justified in his decision to fire these six social workers whose screwups contributed to the murder of four girls. That other civil servants are pissed off about that accountability moment is understandable, but it's simply vital that this city demand a higher quality of public services.

Similarly, this school closure plan seems mostly spot-on (the families who don't want their kids to need to cross a highway on foot en route to school seem to have a good point so the aspect of the plan affecting those people needs to be rethought). The District's school population has fallen dramatically from its current peak, and closing especially under-utilized schools is a no-brainer response. Right now we have underpopulated yet poorly maintained buildings. With some closures and rationalizations, kids could attend properly maintained schools.