Want to learn about corruption and venality in Washington politics? Jump in the back of a DC cab. Until a few years ago, the first thing you might have noticed was the indecipherable “zone” system map – rather than distance or time, riders were charged based on the number of zones traveled. Even after years in DC, the complex algorithm drivers used to translate zones into dollars was a complete mystery me. I stepped out of lots of cabs puzzled and a little suspicious.