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  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Chief Lanier’s Sweet Pension
  • Good morning sweet readers! What’s that, you love chicken nuggets? Not anymore you don’t. News time:

    The Listening Tour Begins: Almost Mayor Vince Gray got the old band together last night for a reunion concert at Community Academy Public Charter School in friendly Ward 5. Mostly, Gray stuck to his greatest hits: More collaborative school reform (though when pressed by a really bright middle school student, Gray said he’s not going to micromanage and reinstate Patrick Pope, the beloved former Hardy Middle School principal); a stronger focus on adult job training and making sure D.C. residents get D.C. government jobs; and more community policing. One of the biggest applause lines of the evening was when Gray said that Peacoholics, the anti-youth violence non-profit co-founded by Mayor Adrian Fenty superfan Ron Moten, has seen its gravy train leaving the station. Gray gave some straight talk about the how the city’s divides may never be completely bridged, and the city’s budget woes, which he said earlier Tuesday included a $350 million-to-$400 million projected deficit in fiscal 2012, will cause many painful choices ahead. (He also repeated a line that LL is sure to hear a thousand more times in coming months about cutting to the “bone marrow.”)  For more, see write-ups in the Post, where Nikita Stewart points out that Gray was on friendly turf in Ward 5 and will face a more critical crowd tomorrow in Ward 3, and the Examiner, where Freeman Klopott mentions that Gray’s fy12 projections didn’t come from the CFO’s office. DCist’s Martin Austermuhle is his usual thoughtful Swiss self.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Anthony Williams Slams Post, Snakes Alive!; Memo of Truth

    All Aboard the Straight Talk Express: Courtland Milloy has another must-read. This one is an interview with former Mayor Anthony Williams, who unloads on the Post for playing pattycake with Fenty for the last four years: “I think the Washington Post’s four years of adoration and devotion did Adrian a disservice. You guys beat the [daylights] out of me, and it kept me humble. I don’t know if you all were on vacation or what, but if I had done some of the things Adrian did, I would have been run out of town. Adrian never had to explain himself. I found that being called out in the newspaper and screamed at during community meetings is a powerful antidote to arrogance and keeps you on your toes.” (Oooh—Tony said “shit!”) In LL’s short time on the job, he thinks the hardworking Post Metro desk reporters have been doing a fine job calling Fenty out when he deserves it. But neither LL, nor most of the Wilson Building for that matter, would quibble with what Williams said when it comes to the Post editorial board. LL hopes they are listening. Anyhoo, Williams thinks Gray should try and work it out with School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and then compares mayors and school leaders to sherpas climbing Mount Everest. We don’t look forward to the Jon Krakauer version.

    Quote of the Day Award: “It’s all related to quality of life … What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” Today’s winner is Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who gets all Jesus-like when explaining why he voted for Councilmember Mary Cheh‘s wildlife protection bill that would “impose some of the nation’s strictest standards for how animal- and pest-control companies can remove raccoons, opossums, foxes, snakes and other nuisance animals from lawns, attics and basements,” according to the Post‘s Tim Craig. (LL had a friend who lived in a remote village in snake-hating Gabon, where he said he once saw a villager bash in a snake’s head, chop it up into pieces, set it on fire, then drive over the ashes with a car. Don’t tell Cheh.)

    Anyone But JaneyJonetta Rose Barras offers up her opinions on four possible candidates to replace Rhee. Saying Bob Bobb, Deborah Gist and Paul Vallas all have Rhee-like qualities and would be good choices, but Rhee’s predecessor Clifford Janey would be a step backward.

    I paid $15k and All I Got Was This Hurtful Memo: Kudos to Mike DeBonis for finding this memo for Democratic operatives, penned by Bill Knapp, a politico and biz partner to Fenty and Rhee’s communications helper Anita Dunn. In it, Knapp says it was Fenty’s personality problems that caused him to lose, saying he neglected a critical base and had become “flawed and expendable.” This ought to be required reading for the next national media nitwit who writes that Fenty lost because he championed school reform.

    Police presence expected at Jamal Coates‘ funeral.

    HIV tests begin at DMV.

    University of Michigan students don’t want us to vote online.

    Today on Newstalk, Bruce talks with Marion Barry about whatever Marion Barry wants to talk about, and FOP head Kris Baumann chats about Cathy Lanier’s future.