As much local politics as humanly possible. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Good morning, all. LL is voting “present” on his workday.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT—-“Peter Nickles Is Your Attorney General“;”Nickles Vote Liveblog!“; “Nickles Vote Update

Once again, look above for the finest Peter Nickles vote coverage around right here on City Desk, but if that’s not gonna cut it, you can check stories from the WaPo; from WaPo’s Marc Fisher; from Examiner; from WaTimes; from Legal Times.

Michael Neibauer at Examiner covers a less-noticed slap at Fenty yesterday—-a vote nixing his plan to give Parks and Rec’s capital-improvement responsibilities to Allen Lew. “The emergency resolution, offered by Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas Jr., clarifies that Lew is to ‘stay in his lane and do what he’s supposed to do’ as head of the fledgling Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization. It prohibits him from working on most projects outside of the schools.”

Other council business: Littering fines! $50M in HPAP Housing Production Trust Fund money!

In WaPo, Bill Turque has the DCPS “action plan” to be presented to the D.C. Council tomorrow. “Revamped security and discipline policies, more specialized schools, a “Parent Academy” to help District parents take charge of their children’s education and the possibility of more school closures are part of the long-term vision proposed by Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee,” he writes.

Nickles not the only Covington & Burling lawyer to be associated with the words “attorney general” these days.

Go to Baltimore City Paper right now and read a fascinating story about how the car lots that Adrian Fenty is shutting down fit into a larger pattern of auto trafficking in the region: “[M]any cars in those Washington lots are purchased by wholesale brokers in Maryland and Pennsylvania and stored in D.C. to be sold via the internet, word of mouth, or on the streets by unlicensed car dealers, some of whom operate within Baltimore’s shadow drug economy.”

MORE ON THE LOT CLOSINGS—-Check out Biz Journal story. Blogger Warren Street questions the shutdowns: “These businesses occupied space and made money for someone—-if they weren’t making money, why would there be so many of them in an area like the District?” Frozen Tropics does a post, too.

Fed officials slap down 4 million inauguration figure in Examiner story by Leah Fabel. “Federal and local officials voiced skepticism Tuesday at conjecture from D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and others that 3 million to 5 million people would come to Washington for the inauguration….’It’s kind of erroneous to go down that road of 4 million,’ said…spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, referring to published media reports Tuesday that floated that number as an estimate for the crowd on Jan. 20.” NC8 does video pushing the higher figure.

Hotels as far away as Cumberland, Md., are booked for inaugural. (LL hint: Try rooms in Charles Town, W.V.—-closer than Western Maryland but folks don’t realize it!)

MALIA AND SASHA WATCH—-Harry Jaffe makes the case to go public in his Examiner column: “Despite all the dire news about desperate schools and deprived children, the District of Columbia has some of the finest public and charter schools around. Our best elementary and middle schools would measure up well with top schools in Maryland and Virginia.” Tim Redmond at the San Francisco Bay Guardian feels the same way. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama visits GDS, Sidwell. Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet has a tad more.

AP reports that Smithsonian governors ponder charging museum admission at open meeting. Very briefly. And Star-Spangled Banner is in new gallery at NMAH, reopening Friday.

UH-OH, HERE IT COMES—-Blogger Volokh Conspiracy gets a hold of the news that gay marriage might be coming to D.C. soonish. “Catania knows his city’s politics much better than I, but I wonder whether his confidence is fully justified. Given the strong opposition to same-sex marriage among blacks, as demonstrated most recently in their 70% support for Prop 8, the city council in an overwhelmingly black city might get cold feet as the vote nears.” Boi From Troy also weighs in.

Courtland Milloy makes an increasingly rare WaPo appearance to profile the Woodley House, “a halfway house for the mentally ill in Northwest Washington” which has helped “pioneer much-needed reform. Founded by occupational therapist Joan M. Doniger in 1958, Woodley House is celebrating its 50th year as a provider of some of the most progressive community-based psychiatric services in the nation….No small feat, especially when you consider that most Woodley House residents are black and poor.”

In another example of where City Desk coverage is miles ahead of the competition, check out WaPo’s coverage of a deadly Petworth house fire if and only if (that’s IFF to you comp-sci types), you have not already read Ted Scheinman‘s blanket coverage of the incident right here. If you’re looking for video, try NC8 or WUSA-TV.

WaPo Holiday Warmup: Heartwarming stories of personal kindness.

National Cathedral cutting budget “dramatically” and laying off 230 percent of staff, WaPo reports. That’s after they already closed the National Cathedral greenhouse!

IN WAPO BRIEFS—-CFSA case backlog is reduced further; worker dies in 80-foot fall at GWU; bank robber charged

High turnover among disabled-services drivers costs Metro a ton, reports Lena Sun in WaPo. Why the turnover problem? “The main reason for high turnover was low wages and ‘very limited’ benefits. Starting pay for drivers is $11.75 an hour; after six months, the company covers 5 to 10 percent of total family health care costs, the report says.” Examiner also does the story.

Metro mechanic gets fired for making inappropriate joke at WMATA function, Eric Weiss reports in WaPo. His supervisors are reprimanded because, spokesperson says, they “should have stepped forward immediately, escorted the employee away from the microphone, apologized and then taken over as emcee…’That is the leadership we expect.'” DCist has the joke, and it ain’t very good.

Metro head John Catoe joins calls for federal bailout of transit systems, WaTimes reports.

NEW FRONTIERS IN RHEE NAME-CALLING—-From Ron Isaac at EdWize: “If you like to live on the edge and have faith in the benevolent instinct of vipers, then Rhee, Madame Caligula, is your passport to professional oblivion….The Dragon Lady of our Nation’s Capital, Ms. Rhee sharpened her fangs and honed her hatcheting genius while under the tutelage of Joel Klein. Since her devil’s discipleship she has established her own managerial underworld and become the architect of her own chopping block on the Potomac. ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ That quaint expression applies to Rhee’s agenda, except for the ‘good intentions’ part.”

NC8 does piece on local bike commuting.

Gas service out in Shaw.

D.C. COUNCIL TODAY—-10 a.m.: Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations hearing on Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Construction Contracts, JAWB 412; 12 p.m.: Committee of the Whole roundtable on PR 17-1039, “Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia William Warren Keating Confirmation Resolution of 2008,” JAWB 500; 1 p.m.: Committee of the Whole hearing on Bill 17-993, JAWB 500; 1 p.m.: Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations roundtable on PR 17-0874, Commission on African Affairs Asmara Sium Confirmation Resolution of 2008, and PR 17-0876, Commission on African Affairs Nancy Plaatjies Confirmation Resolution of 2008, JAWB 412; 3 p.m.: Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations roundtable, PR 17-1040: District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Active Duty Pay Differential Rulemaking Approval Resolution of 2008, JAWB 412.

ADRIAN FENTY TODAY—-9 a.m.: guest, 9 News at 9, WUSA-TV; 10:30 a.m.: remarks, Department of Corrections progress announcement, Correctional Treatment Facility, 1901 E St. SE.

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