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Morning all. Last night, at Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s invite-only inauguration bash, the promised Young Jeezy didn’t show. But didn’t matter—-’cause surprise guest Wyclef Jean did. Fenty reportedly talked him into it the night before when the two met at the “Green Ball.” Talk about an upgrade! NB: For the past several weeks, LL has been breaking out a separate “Inauguration Section” in his daily roundup. Well, this weekend, it was pretty much all inauguration news, so LL’s going to ditch that particular trope this time ’round. And remember—-washingtoncitypaper.com is your Inauguration Central! All the blogging, Twittering, Flickring, and, uh, writing, you can handle!
Marc Fisher asks the essential question of the day: Why would anyone struggle mightily to see “something they cannot actually see, to hear something that might well be inaudible”? Perhaps this is part of the answer: “Think about 9/11: If you live in Washington or New York, you know. Even if you weren’t at Ground Zero or the Pentagon, you lived it. You saw. You reacted.”
Walter Fauntroy—civil rights leader, D.C. councilmember, and first congressional delegate from D.C.—-retires as pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, and WaPo’s Hamil Harris sends him off in style. Also do check out Bruce Johnson‘s WUSA-TV piece.
WaPo examines the new racial politics of D.C. social circles: “Blacks have gone from barely being on the list to being in charge of the list,” says Roxanne Roberts and Krissah Thompson. Allow Scott Bolden to sharpen the point: “You see those ‘What’s In and Out’ columns every year?…With Obama and the first family in town, arguably being black is ‘in.'” Plus quotes from Fred Cooke, Don Peebles, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz.
Jonetta Rose Barras says she’s “ready for change.” And what is change? “Change would be ditching those fancy, expensive balls and sending the money to local charities, like Central Kitchen….Welcomed change would be DC Vote and other advocates not acting like graffiti artists, plastering everything in sight — buildings, street signs and license plates — with the slogan “Taxation Without Representation,” and choosing instead to storm the Capitol, demanding what they have been denied….change would mean Obama could take his wife, Michelle, on a Friday date without a phalanx of men wearing dark suits and earplugs. D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty would order a root beer soda with that turkey dog at Ben’s Chili Bowl. The D.C. Council would start its legislative sessions on time; and every escalator at Metro would work properly — every day.”
Harry Jaffe slaps local politicos for the Wilson Building reviewing stand: “The cost, according to my sources, is in the neighborhood of $250,000. Four years ago, a similar viewing stand cost $100,000 less. Inflation, or inflated egos?…Tommy Wells, who represents Capitol Hill on the council, told me: ‘I want to keep it as a homeless shelter after the inauguration.'”
Voting rights bill will see hearing on Jan. 27.
District is a PROSTITUTION-FREE ZONE. Thank you very much.
WaPo’s Paul Schwartzman retraces Obama’s steps through the District in recent days. “From the young and earnest to their seen-it-all elders, the response among many Washingtonians has been a spasm of unabashed giddiness. ‘It certainly has been a pep pill,’ said Pat Baptiste, a Chevy Chase activist, who watched from her window as Obama arrived at [George Will]’s house. ‘We have changed from jaded to excited in Washington, of all places.'”
DOWNTOWN SLUMBER PARTY—-Folks prepare to bunk down to avoid security lines. “At the Wilson Building, about 10 government employees will share a single shower. ‘It’s a real commitment, to say the least,’ D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said.'”
WX UPDATE—-Gonna be cold Tuesday.
WaPo catches up with Republicans’ inauguration plans. D.C. GOPsters Paul Craney and Christina Culver will be leaving town—-Massachusetts and New York, respectively.
WaPo’s Avis Thomas-Lester profiles the People’s Inaugural Ball, the Tuesday night bash at the J.W. Marriott conceived by Virginia businessman Earl W. Stafford.
Obligatory WaPo “people are coming here story,” told with vest by David Fahrenthold.
Your Jan. 20 vending preview, courtesy of WaTimes.
Lotsa volunteering today, Nikita Stewart reports in WaPo. At RFK, 75,000 care packages to be made for troops.
MORE TOILET TERROR—-from Examiner: “Even if only 1 million people show up near the National Mall on Tuesday, sanitation experts say there simply won’t be enough toilets. ‘Basically, you’ll have sewage rolling down the streets,’ said Roy Morris, a sales manager with Maryland’s United Site Services.'”
Yesterday’s Lincoln Memorial concert offered “limited dress rehearsal” for Tuesday, says WaPo’s Lena Sun. Examiner’s Kytja Weir focuses solely on Metro, writes killer story! Weir also reports Metro is ready for 1.6M riders Tuesday—-trains and buses!
WRC-TV: “No Parking, no joke!”
Obama will open White House on Jan. 21. Tix are limited!
HA HA—-National Harbor guests told to boil water due to water main break.
Lotta foreclosures round these parts.
Attorney General Peter Nickles finds no wrongdoing on part of Bobbi Hart, chair of D.C. charter school credit enhancement committee. “Nickles said that the issues raised in the Post articles ‘remain troubling.’ He suggested that the credit committee put recusals in writing, adopt standards on gifts, undergo regular ethics training and improve personal financial disclosure.”
District man arrested for impersonating U.S. Marshal, Freeman Klopott reports in Examiner. Kenneth Irving Brown, 58, “admitted that ‘he wanted to make a difference and since the cops were never around his neighborhood in the District of Columbia he “morphed” into a U.S. Marshal around November 2007.'”
Mendo wants info on Michelle Rhee‘s plans to fire bad teachers.
Violence at Columbia Height Community Center decried, by Jim Graham, Harry Thomas Jr., et al.
District man killed at Temple Hills club.
LL’S OLD NEIGHBORHOOD ALERT—-Woman, 70, rescued from burning row house at 18th Street and Kilbourne Place NW in Mount Pleasant.
WAPO ON PANDA SEX—-“‘Because competent mating did not occur,’ the zoo statement said, veterinarians anesthetized both pandas on Saturday, collected semen from Tian Tian and inserted it into Mei Xiang‘s uterus.” Usually this stuff doesn’t happen until March or April, but “[a]lthough it might be tempting to attribute the change to the inaugural excitement that has swept the city, zoo officials said they will study numerous other factors and try to ‘shed new light on what triggers the reproduction in this endangered species.'”
LL LIKES THIS GUY—-WaPo profiles “disembodied ‘voice of God’ for Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony,” one Navy Musician 1st Class Courtney Williams, 33, of Greenbrier, Tenn. His preparation: “a cup of coffee and a Marlboro Light.”
Mary Lou Fant, Petworth civic activist, is dead at 94.
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-No public events scheduled.
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-6:15 a.m.: guest, CNN American Morning, CNN; 7 a.m.: guest, The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NBC; 8:30 a.m.: remarks, Spike Lee’s “Refresh the World” Symposium, Howard University, 2455 6th St. SE; 9:45 a.m.: participant, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday of Service Event, Ballou Senior High School, 3401 4th St. SE; 1 p.m.: remarks, Education Equality Project Announcement, Cardozo Senior High School, 1300 Clifton St. NW; 4 p.m.: participant, “A Day Of Service For Our Military” Event, RFK Memorial Stadium, 2400 East Capitol Street.