Thursday, November 17, 2011

DeMorning Leverage

That’s what Wal-Mart foes are wondering about now that Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) has endorsed the company’s plans to open two more stores in addition to the four the mega-retailer already has planned. What incentive does Wal-Mart now have to strike a community benefits deal with the city? A good question, but consider what little leverage the city has in the first place: Four of the six Wal-Marts are on private land whose developers can already host the retailer as a matter of right or have already secured necessary zoning changes. As for the other two, Gray literally begged Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO to come there. The calculation for Wal-Mart and its developer partners goes like this: Their community benefits agreement will be about as much as it would take to hire the lawyers they’d otherwise have to hire to hurdle the regulatory barriers erected by hostile politicos. More Wal-Mart reaction from WAMU-FM, Examiner, DCist. In “sweeping series of orders,” federal judge orders city to fix special education for preschoolers
Fascinating interview with former MPD special operations chief on handling long-term protests — or, how Occupy D.C. is unlike aggrieved farmers
On Occupy D.C.: “It’s worrisome that, as sources have told us, federal officials, who have sole jurisdiction over the plaza and square, and city officials, who are most impacted by the occupations, aren’t really talking about the next step.” ”Jack Evans seems terribly unhappy in a job he desperately wants to keep. He wants to be a big player in a city government he can’t stand. He curates a public vanity wall featuring snapshots of colleagues he privately disdains.” Why Eric Holder probably regrets swearing in Kwame Brown and saying he voted for Gray
Attention parents of DCPS elementary schoolers: There is some evidence it won’t hurt your kids’ college chances to leave them in public school


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