Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: The Greatest Story Ever Told Edition

A deliberative roundup of one city's local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!


Good morning sweet readers! LL's boss is away today. Let freedom ring. News time:

The Greatest Story Ever Told: The biggest news of 2011 has finally dropped: A movie about Marion Barry starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Spike Lee just might, maybe!, make it the screen via premium cable. The Washington Post's Reliable Source has the news: "We’re told that a still-untitled Barry biopic is in development by HBO Films, with the veteran comic and Oscar nominee attached as the star, Spike Lee as director, John Ridley as writer, and all three as executive producers. D.C. journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood have been tapped as consultants — “Dream City,” their 1994 book about D.C. politics, is among the source material the creators are eyeing." Sherwood tells LL that he can say publicly that he and Jaffe have sold an option to HBO but can't much more than that. (Simon & Schuster published the book in 1994, but the publishing company's rights to the book have expired. So the deal is between the authors and HBO, according to Sherwood.) DCist has already dissed the pick of The Adventures of Pluto Nash star to play Barry, but LL thinks Murphy's has more than earned him the right to show what he can do. As for who might play him, Sherwood says: "Me. ... I know how to act, I'm on TV everyday. ... I'm a well known thespian. Make sure you spell that word right ... I want Courtland Milloy to play me."

AFTER THE JUMP: Less Exciting News ...

Wonks and Schools: The Gray lady published an op-ed from local author Natalie Hopkinson bashing the whole "school choice" movement.  "But I’ve come to realize that this brand of school reform is a great deal only if you live in a wealthy neighborhood." Slate says, but look at the test score numbers! And the Nation uses stats of its own to come to this conclusion: "In short, Michelle Rhee and her successor, Kaya Henderson, have presided over a landscape of modest raw test score gains. Meanwhile, the expansion of school choice in DC encouraged more white and middle-class families to send their children to public schools, and provided an escape route to some poor children who would otherwise have attended failing neighborhood schools. What Rhee and Henderson have not done is shrink achievement gaps or guarantee to DC low-income parents that their children will receive at least an adequate, “average” education, no matter what school they attend." Related: the Post ed board remembers Joe Robert fondly for pushing the school voucher program.

Sticky Sweet Non-Journalism: Man, did TBD ever shit the bed with this piece of hero-worship about Ward 6 Councilmartyr Saint Tommy Wells. The lede: "Tonight the D.C. Council will recognize the power of pedestrians, everyone. Or one council member will, least." Whaaa?

In Other News:

  • Former schools boss Robert Bobb is back in town , and has set up a "consulting business he recently set up with five well-connected principals."
  • Doctor's group doesn't like Councilmember David Catania's HIV training plan.
  • Hunger strikers target Rep. Darrell Issa over budget autonomy.
  • Scott Pearson tapped to oversee D.C. charter schools. Councilmembers meet to hash out ethics bill details.
  • Feds bust up G-Rod crew.
  • Brenda Donald's return to CFSA made official.
  • John Hill says he'll quit library board over William Lockridge naming flap.

Gray sked: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Major Education Announcement; 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Pre-Gala Reception for Special Olympics 27th Annual Night of Trees Auction; 6:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.: University of the District of Columbia President’s Annual Holiday Open House; 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Army-Navy Gala.

Council sked: nada.


  • Joe

    Hey LL, how about you explain sometime your irrational dislike of and need to continually mock Tommy Wells? I assume it's a professional decision; you root for as much corruption and drama and nonsense as possible so you have more to write about, and someone who actually gets the job done and isn't a crook isn't worth your interest. Why don't you knock it off and act like a professional instead.

  • jimbo

    1st: The councilmartyr is proclaiming to be the cleanest hog at the trough. At the end of the day, you're still dirty and still a pig.
    2nd: How can you defend limited abilities as well as headline whoring?
    3rd: This is the best Ward 6 can do?

  • Joe

    1: Not actually an argument.
    2: Limited abilities compared to who? In what regard? He's getting plenty done for Ward 6, his constituents. And headline whoring, so what, he's a politician. They can do that all they want as long as they get stuff done.
    3: As far as I can tell. Nobody anywhere near as good ran against him in the last election. And I'd still take him over any of the other corrupt clowns on the council. He's not perfect, but he's the best we've got.

  • noodlez

    @Joe - ". . . someone who actually gets the job done and isn't a crook isn't worth your interest."




  • Joe

    @noodlez, You forgot to turn the caps lock off.

    And those H St merchants wouldn't have jobs if not for Tommy. And clearly they can't rebut my statement otherwise they would have.

    And I'd rather have a big, expensive project on it's way to completion (which isn't only because of Gray's incompetence and cronyism) than years of corruption and nonsense and fleecing people of this city like we get from Gray, Kwame, Barry and the rest. Get your facts straight, and learn to spell while you're at it.

  • SEis4ME

    @Joe, So Saint Wells should "never" be mocked because there are people (many his constituents) who like him? That's silly. To say that Alan supports corruption is also silly. At a minimum, he's goes after most CM's (albeit not at the same level of enthusiam) all the time.

    You can't possibly be suggesting that Vincent Gray is responsible for the big, expensive project not be completed. Well damn, that is what you just said. It make no better sense.

    If you have documents backing up your assertion that Gray is corrupt and has fleeced the people of this city, I would like to read them. T


  • Joe

    @SEis4ME, I'm not saying he shouldn't be mocked, just that I think LL comes off as kind of obnoxious. He's one of the few councilmembers with any integrity at all, and gets shit for it, which seems pretty misguided to me.

    As for the streetcar, all I'm saying is that it would be much closer to completion if Fenty was still in charge. Gray comes in and dithers and dithers and screws things up and hey, we're all waiting until sometime in 2013 for a project that, until he got into office, didn't seem all that complicated.

    And Gray not corrupt? Come on. I may not have the documents but the Feds sure do. Check out Sulaimon Brown and all of his cronies who gave their unqualified kids cushy city jobs.
    That's not actually my biggest gripe with Gray; I think he really does care about our city, but he's an ineffective mayor and has surrounded himself with people who are just out to see how they can make a buck off of the rest of us. I'm not saying Fenty was that much better, I didn't like him either, but at least he got things done and made the city a better place. Gray just doesn't do anything.

  • Blevins

    @SEis4ME, No need for Joe to provide you with documents, the FBI will weigh in soon enough. Until then, we wait, and remember sillymon testifying before the council in his maui jim's...

  • Pingback: Report: HBO developing Marion Barry biopic starring Eddie Murphy. – 20Something City

  • SEis4ME

    @Joe, Well yes, LL does kinda come across as obnoxious. Obnoxious in the same way he has been when mocking other CM's. The belief that Wells shouldn't be mocked is rather misguided IMO. We just saw last week him admit his willingness to use a system of bundling that he wants banned. There's plenty of fodder to make about that one.

    Can you explain what Gray hasn't done that Fenty would have done. I don't get your point on this. I would wager that it didn't "seem" complicated because you were likely less "critical" of Fenty so the "Perception" made all the difference.

    No, I haven't seen any evidence that he's corrupt. I do know, however, that he's been accused of paying off Sillybrown and as of today, there is no information to back up that claim. Do you have a link or something backing up your claim of corruption?

    Also, you would hard pressed to find someone who believes that you are an "objective" source when you write that Gray hasn't done anything...but Fenty did and made this city a better place. You pretty much lose all credibility with statements like that.

  • SEis4ME

    @Blevins, and until that time, we're left to assume what? That he's guilty and the presumption of innocence becomes irrelevant?

    Oh ok.

  • Blevins

    @SEis4ME: No, we wait. Any assumptions you want to make are yours and yours alone. Neat try, though.

  • Southeast Ken

    I fainted while driving, when I heard this news on WTOP.

  • Drez

    he's been accused of paying off Sillybrown and as of today, there is no information to back up that claim. Do you have a link or something backing up your claim of corruption?
    There are receipts for payment and communications logs between paid Gray cpaign operatives and sulliamon, there is the fact that sulliamon did get a fat job he wasn't qualified for, and there's sulliomon's word. What else there is we don't yet. But the Feds don't empanel a grand jury without a reasonable amount of evidence. It's not worth thier time or money.

  • NE John

    What can I say in response? This is going to be great!!!

  • jimbo

    Hey Joe:

    Generic pseudonym. Which one of Wells' staff are you?

  • StrangeFruit

    @ Joe,

    Voters are getting hip to Wells and his divisive, racist and conniving practices. If he lets the media swell his head and run for Mayor or Council Chairman, he will definitely get a beat-down at the polls.