And hey, NC8, if you’re going to title your piece “Residents Skeptical as D.C. House Voting Rights Bill Re-Introduced,” could you please quote more than one “ordinary” citizen?
But all is well: The NEW YORK TIMES edit page weighed in on the matter: “As a senator, Mr. Obama supported a bill that would have given the district’s Congressional representative full voting rights. The bill, which passed the House but succumbed to a Senate filibuster, has been reintroduced. It deserves prompt approval in both houses and Mr. Obama’s swift signature.”
Morning all. LLD is still waiting for the political year to start heating up. Not much cooking at yesterday’s council session, and for some reason, a lot of people are watching events in Obamaland. But LLD’s commitment to hyperlocalism never wanes. Here we go.
Peter J. Nickles appears increasingly serious about furthering the strong-executive legacy of Dick Cheney. The context for Nickles’ latest power play is the controversial subpoena power that the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty recently vested in D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier. That power allows Lanier to use this authority in “any municipal matter.” Well, the council thought that sounded like a civil-rights encroachment waiting to happen, and yesterday it revoked the authority. Here’s what Nickles had to say about the matter, courtesy of the ubiquitous and garrulous Hamil Harris: “It seems logical to give the chief of police all of the help that she can get to conduct criminal investigations and to protect the safety of the public.” Can we let Lanier waterboard Trinidad drug dealers, too? NC8 report on same.
WaPo’s editorial board probably wouldn’t feel comfy with Nickles in the role of monarch. That role they’d give to the infallible Michelle Rhee. In an unsigned editorial this morning, the board is bashing the council for sticking its nose into disciplinary policy, giving the new, neutered school board and that state superintendent of education the authority to rule this area. From the piece: “[T]he council seems to have forgotten that its wise decision to make the mayor responsible for the schools was rooted in the historical failure of elected school boards to do right by the children of this city.” But Rhee is plowing ahead with hearings on discipline, and they’re open to the public, and WRC-TV has the schedule.
More Rhee: She disses a survey that calls the D.C. schools the worst in the nation. Her rationale: The study rated schools by states, and it’s unfair to compare the District to states. Good point, and a common pitfall of comparing the District to other jurisdictions.
LL is about to create a splinter of LLD titled LLMROD, or “Loose Lips Michelle Rhee-Only Daily.” How else to accommodate the media’s fascination—Peoria Chronicle, anyone?—with this admittedly quite energetic woman? Before we go getting our trademarks and all of that, though, we’ll just keep on aggregating absolutely everything that’s written about her, including: A piece by Erika Jacobs—yes, the Erika Jacobs. Just what is Jacobs’ issue with Rhee? She can’t understand the chancellor’s “decision to drop support of the most rigorous teacher training, National Board Certification, and instead support ‘The Skillful Teacher,….In the author’s view, this shows that Rhee is “choosing formula over reflection.”
The edubeat goes on: Are D.C. school vouchers in danger of extinction by 2010?
Post columnist Courtland Milloy writes something about the possibility of the Obama girls joining the Black Student Union at Sidwell Friends. If they join, says Milloy, that’s a good thing; if they don’t, that’s a good thing too, suggests Milloy. Can we take a stand here, Mr. Columnist?
Sorry folks, but LLD simply won’t let Vince Gray’s Monday online chat at washingtonpost.com fade away without another choice blockquote. Here’s the wonky council chairman responding to a word of congratulations from a resident about hist-pres: “I was very honored to receive the Public Policy and Law Award. I have been very active around historical preservation issues. For example, I helped to spearhead the identification of $1.25 million in grant funds that had not gotten out to homeowners to make repairs to their homes. A number of grants that together totaled $1 million already have been awarded with many of the homes located in historic Anacostia. I look forward to grants of similar levels being awarded this year. I also worked assiduously, especially with the community, to ensure that the board members nominated for the Historic Preservation Review Board were qualified for these important roles.”
Did the Examiner‘s Nei-man save city taxpayers $2 million? Looks like it. See, the District was prepared to shell out $3.1 million for a shell of a building in Columbia Heights. Then the Nei-man (reporter Michael Neibauer) started asking (very good) questions, and the sale’s on hold.
Good news for Mark Plotkin: The city is weighing legislation that would eliminate the option for motorists to NOT have “Taxation Without Representation” on their tags. Currently, they may opt for “www.dc.gov” instead of this incendiary political message. LLD wonders what CTO Vivek Kundra thinks about this, given how much traffic the license-plate borne URLs drive to the city’s Web site.
Examiner‘s Harry Jaffe dishes out a serving of nostalgia for a less security-conscious time: “We all preferred the old normal, where presidents, as recently as Richard Nixon, could walk our streets. The new normal, post 9-11, requires our chief executives to live an armored life.”
Wacky lawyer who sued the pants off his dry cleaners over his pants is asking for a re-hearing of the case.
—-THE INAUGURATION SECTION—-
WaPo works the classic get-out-of-town-for-the-big-event story, complete with some fun reporting. Here’s the account of a woman who is leaving town out of fear: “[T]he woman cited the story in November of an employee who was crushed by a mob of shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Long Island, N.Y. ‘I think it’s going to be something like that,’ she said, identifying herself only as Sam. ‘It’s going to be very, very scary. I’m not going to risk my life for it.'”
And on Post‘s InaugBlog, find posts about the 18 “ordinary citizens” who’ll ride on the Obama-Biden train. I mean, these are really ordinary people; there is nothing exceptional, interesting, captivating, or compelling about these 18 very regular and normal people who’ll ride the train with Obama and Biden, to show that the new rulers are down with the huge mass of ordinary folk in this country. These people, I repeat, have nothing extraordinary to offer this country. They are ordinary. Also: Springsteen to perform at inaugural welcome thingie.
All that hype about 10,000 charter buses flooding the District? Yeah right: Metro has received parking requests for exactly….35!
Smithsonian to get $700,000 to deal with inaugural hassles.
Key Bridge to close Jan. 20. Not that anyone takes that bridge anyway—way too crowded.
WTOP: Watch for sky-high parking fees around inauguration time.
—-END INAUGURATION SECTION—-
D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-Nothing
ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-
10:30 AM: Remarks, Milestone in Legal Action Against Slumlords
Location: Rental Housing Complex, 2913 Knox Place SE