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A deliberative roundup of one city’s local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!


Good morning sweet readers! LL’s boss is away today. Let freedom ring. News time:

The Greatest Story Ever Told: The biggest news of 2011 has finally dropped: A movie about Marion Barry starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Spike Lee just might, maybe!, make it the screen via premium cable. The Washington Post’s Reliable Source has the news: “We’re told that a still-untitled Barry biopic is in development by HBO Films, with the veteran comic and Oscar nominee attached as the star, Spike Lee as director, John Ridley as writer, and all three as executive producers. D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood have been tapped as consultants — “Dream City,” their 1994 book about D.C. politics, is among the source material the creators are eyeing.” Sherwood tells LL that he can say publicly that he and Jaffe have sold an option to HBO but can’t much more than that. (Simon & Schuster published the book in 1994, but the publishing company’s rights to the book have expired. So the deal is between the authors and HBO, according to Sherwood.) DCist has already dissed the pick of The Adventures of Pluto Nash star to play Barry, but LL thinks Murphy’s has more than earned him the right to show what he can do. As for who might play him, Sherwood says: “Me. … I know how to act, I’m on TV everyday. … I’m a well known thespian. Make sure you spell that word right … I want Courtland Milloy to play me.”

AFTER THE JUMP: Less Exciting News …

Wonks and Schools: The Gray lady published an op-ed from local author Natalie Hopkinson bashing the whole “school choice” movement.  “But I’ve come to realize that this brand of school reform is a great deal only if you live in a wealthy neighborhood.” Slate says, but look at the test score numbers! And the Nation uses stats of its own to come to this conclusion: “In short, Michelle Rhee and her successor, Kaya Henderson, have presided over a landscape of modest raw test score gains. Meanwhile, the expansion of school choice in DC encouraged more white and middle-class families to send their children to public schools, and provided an escape route to some poor children who would otherwise have attended failing neighborhood schools. What Rhee and Henderson have not done is shrink achievement gaps or guarantee to DC low-income parents that their children will receive at least an adequate, “average” education, no matter what school they attend.” Related: the Post ed board remembers Joe Robert fondly for pushing the school voucher program.

Sticky Sweet Non-Journalism: Man, did TBD ever shit the bed with this piece of hero-worship about Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells. The lede: “Tonight the D.C. Council will recognize the power of pedestrians, everyone. Or one council member will, least.” Whaaa?

In Other News:

  • Former schools boss Robert Bobb is back in town , and has set up a “consulting business he recently set up with five well-connected principals.”
  • Doctor’s group doesn’t like Councilmember David Catania’s HIV training plan.
  • Hunger strikers target Rep. Darrell Issa over budget autonomy.
  • Scott Pearson tapped to oversee D.C. charter schools. Councilmembers meet to hash out ethics bill details.
  • Feds bust up G-Rod crew.
  • Brenda Donald’s return to CFSA made official.
  • John Hill says he’ll quit library board over William Lockridge naming flap.

Gray sked: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Major Education Announcement; 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Pre-Gala Reception for Special Olympics 27th Annual Night of Trees Auction; 6:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.: University of the District of Columbia President’s Annual Holiday Open House; 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Army-Navy Gala.

Council sked: nada.