DAYBREAK DAILY: So what exactly is the new end-game for Iraq?

ABC7 TRAFFIC: Operative phrase: “road spray.” It’ll be everywhere, quite obviously. That, and soupy, misty fog. Just ducky. Nothing major to report yet, but check @DaybreakSkip on Twitter for breaking updates. Here’s the traffic flow map:

ABC7 WEATHER: More of the lame same. Flooding remains a big concern, especially in Alexandria’s Old Town and parts of Montgomery County. Expect a milder day with highs in the mid to upper 70s.

HE’S A MOVER: And the numbers prove it. “Aided by strong tea party support, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has surged in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, pushing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney into second place and significantly diminishing the once-rising star of Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.”

BUT WILL HE JOIN GOP DEBATE TONIGHT?: Unclear, per the AP, “Perry, who was in Texas dealing with one of the most destructive wildfire outbreaks in the state's history, left open the possibility that he may skip the debate. Asked whether he would have time to prepare even if he does attend, Perry said, "We'll deal with that when it comes up."

TEXAS INFERNO: The monster fire rages on, per the Houston Chronicle, “Fed by wind and parched vegetation, wildfires continued to rage Tuesday through Central Texas, where an out-of-control blaze claimed two lives and 550 homes, and in the Magnolia area, where officials ordered the evacuation of more than 4,000 households.”

HE PROMISED!: Maybe his fingers were crossed behind his back, per the New York Times, “Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is supporting a plan that would keep 3,000 to 4,000 American troops in Iraq after a deadline for their withdrawal at year’s end, but only to continue training security forces there, a senior military official said on Tuesday. The recommendation would break a longstanding pledge by President Obama to withdraw all American forces from Iraq by the deadline.”

THE SKINNY: Details on a proposed New Deal, per the L.A. Times, “President Obama on Thursday will roll out a jobs package that strives to lift the ailing economy through $300 billion worth of tax credits, school renovation projects, job training for the unemployed and a program to prevent teacher layoffs, according to a person familiar with the administration's plans.”

WHAT TO DO ABOUT. . .: Moving stairs that don’t move, per the Post, “With one in six escalators now under repair, the Metro system plans to augment its own workforce with an outside contractor to speed work on 74 Orange Line escalators and elevators, General Manager Richard Sarles said Tuesday. Officials at the transit agency are expected to make a presentation on Thursday to Metro’s board of directors on their plan to hire an outside contractor to do preventive maintenance on 54 escalators and 20 elevators on the Orange Line from Rosslyn to Vienna.”

SO WHO PAYS?: Per the City Paper, “Anybody remember that whole fracas involving Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown and his Lincoln Navigators? Well, (Loose Lips) realized the other day that we never found out what the final tally was for how much the chairman's brief flirtation with luxury SUVs was going to cost. . . The cost to break the lease: a hefty $12,450.23.”

RELIEF: One way to beat congestion, per ARLnow, “Shuttle buses are now running between the Pentagon and the National Guard Readiness Center (Arlington Hall), in a move that officials hope will help alleviate some of the traffic burden in the Barcroft neighborhood.”

NO BOMBS FOUND: Per the News & Messenger, “The Prince William County courthouse on Lee Avenue was closed for the day on Tuesday after someone called in a bomb threat from a pay phone in Woodbridge, police said.”

STRASBURG STROLL: Dodgers rally past Nats 7-3 in Strasburg’s return but. . .Boz likes what he sees: “Where’s the rust or the lost command? Who returns to the big leagues after 382 days away for elbow surgery with more precision and better efficiency than when he left? Who fans one Dodger on a 99 mph fastball, barely allows an audibly struck ball in five innings, but has the touch and finesse to fan both Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier on 90 mph change-ups?”

POLITICO BLINK: “Will EPA chief Lisa Jackson stay or go? That’s the new parlor game among Washington insiders after the White House publicly undercut the agency’s attempts to install tougher regulations on smog.”

MEANWHILE: More from Politico, “The once-muscular presidency of Barack Obama has undergone a dramatic downsizing – in power, popularity, prestige and ambition – to the point where even Obama die-hards are starting to question his ability to right the economy or win reelection.”

AH, GUNS: Per the AP, “A gunman wielding an AK-47 opened fire on a table of uniformed National Guard members at an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday in an outburst of violence that killed five people, wounded seven others and put Nevada's capital city on high alert. . . The gunman, 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion of Carson City, shot himself in the head and died at a hospital.”

HEY, IT’S HOW HE ROLLS: Per Utah’s Standard-Examiner, “A city resident may face charges after police said he was butchering a cow in his driveway Sunday afternoon. Ogden Police Lt. Troy Burnett said a person called. . . to say a neighbor was cutting up a cow in his driveway.”

--Skip Wood