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  • Two Degrees of Separation Between Vince Gray and John Ashcroft
  • Good morning sweet readers! LL’s dog didn’t seem to care this morning that LL didn’t feel like going outside in this bad weather. Come to think of it, LL’s dog has never cared. News time:

    Good Thing Your Money is Already in Offshore Accounts: Councilmembers Michael Brown and Jim Graham want to tax the rich again, saying the city’s $175 million budget gap will make their proposals more attractive to a council that’s already said no to such ideas, the Examiner‘s Freeman Klopott reports. Councilmember Jack Evans says it’s a “shortsighted” approach and he’ll drown their proposals in a bathtub if he came to his finance committee, but Graham and Brown said they have ways of bypassing Evans. Jonetta says the city ought to undo tax abatements, or at least monitor them a bit more closely.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Rhee Is Not Racist; Tommy Wells Gets Personal; Rhee and Zuckerberg …

    Michelle Rhee Is Not Racist: The Post‘s editorial board swats down any notion that Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has focused solely on making schools better for white kids. “There is no denying the stark racial divide of the recent mayoral primary. Many residents of distressed black neighborhoods believe that white, affluent neighborhoods are routinely afforded more attention and resources. Historically there are plenty of grounds for resentment. But any suggestion that Ms. Rhee lacks either passion for or interest in raising the achievement levels of black students—along with those of white, Latino and special-education pupils—is a slander. The charge seriously misreads the past three years and 10 months and how Ms. Rhee has worked to fix a system that was notorious for its inability to provide textbooks to students, much less educate them.” (In other words, the Post editorial board is picking a fight with a Post Metro columnist.) Staying on topic, the Georgetown Dish says Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh doesn’t think former Hardy Middle School Principle Patrick Pope, whose ouster by Rhee ruffled some feathers, should be given his old job back.

    Acting The Part:  Klopott says Almost Mayor Vince(nt) Gray is already acting like he’s the mayor because he a) proposed a hiring freeze to deal with the city’s big $175 million budget gap and b) he doesn’t miss press conferences because of traffic.

    TMI on Tommy Wells: In DCist’s Tommy Wells interview, we learn that the Ward 6 Councilmember’s favorite band is Golden Earring (they preform “Radar Love”), he spends most of his time tweeting on his sailboat called “Bulletproof” “Buster,” and thinks Ward 6’s best days are ahead. On why he started using Twitter: “I thought it was an easy way to communicate with the media. I started out tweeting from closed council meetings hoping news organizations would follow me.”

    Hmmm, Interesting: Here’s another log for the Michelle-Rhee-is-headed-to-Newark fire, courtesy of the Gray Lady’s Miguel Helft. In this profile of Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, we learn that Sandberg recently set up a meeting between Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg and Rhee to talk philanthropy. Zuckerberg, you’ll remember, just announced he’s giving $100 million to Newark’s schools. “When Mr. Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, his longtime girlfriend, started thinking about philanthropy, they turned to Ms. Sandberg. She immediately tapped her vast network of contacts and organized meetings with the likes of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Michelle A. Rhee, the schools chief in Washington, D.C. Ms. Sandberg ‘helped me navigate the politics of it and to figure out where I could have the most leverage,’ Mr. Zuckerberg says.” Leverage, you say. Hmmm, interesting.

    No, Can I Help You: Ward 5 GOP candidate Tim Day‘s recent meet and greetgets some press from the Examiner‘s opinion blog contributor John Vaught LaBeaume. It looks like Day could use the coverage: “Upon finding the right room, the candidate approached with an awkward, but courteous, ‘Can I help you?’ It seems Day is still learning how to ‘work the room’ like a back slapping pol. I almost felt like he was suspicious of me. That’s no way to put a potential voter at east to consider his spiel. The first few faces sighted were those of District Republican poo-bahs: DC GOP Chair Bob Kabel, Executive Director Paul Diego Craney and DC’s RNC Committeeman Tony Parker. When asked how many actual Ward 5 voters had shown up, Day proceeds to tilt his head up and count on his fingers, whispering aloud until he arrives at the figure of 12. Five of those were new faces to Day. A couple of Ward 5 business owners stopped by, too, he was quick to add.”

    NBC 4’s Pat Collins lists spring and summer months in order, also reports more problems with how the city is charging DWIs.

    The media sure gets excited when one of its own gets caught growing pot.

    Terrance Lynch says school reform is over, and those thinking otherwise need to smell the coffee.

    WTU election.

    Charter school shrugs off test score decline.

    Judge rebuffs Peter Nickles.

    Colby King on the mental trauma of violence.