DAYBREAK DAILY: Virginia GOP pulls redistricting ambush

John R. Watkins is the plan's author.

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TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: President Obama and his first lady danced to "Let's Stay Together" at the Commander in Chief's Ball Monday. Mrs. Obama stunned in a custom Jason Wu gown. More:

BACK-DOOR MOVE: Virginia Democrats caught off guard, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Senate Republicans on Monday pushed through a surprise rewrite of the 2011 redistricting plan that erases a Democratic seat in western Virginia and creates a sixth majority black district that would be located between Petersburg and Danville. Democrats were shocked by the move, vowing to oppose the new plan in court as an unconstitutional redo of Senate district boundaries.”

THE INAUGURATION: Of a liberal speech, per the New York Times, “Barack Hussein Obama ceremonially opened his second term on Monday with an assertive Inaugural Address that offered a robust articulation of modern liberalism in America, arguing that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

On a day that echoed with refrains from the civil rights era and tributes to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Obama dispensed with the post-partisan appeals of four years ago to lay out a forceful vision of advancing gay rights, showing more tolerance toward illegal immigrants, preserving the social welfare safety net and acting to stop climate change.”

SIGNAGE: Mayor Gray leads the way, per City Paper, “The snappy slogan "A More Perfect Union Must Include Full Democracy in DC" looked so good on a parade reviewing stand, why not put it on a sign? Mayor Vince Gray and his two adult children walked down Pennsylvania Avenue about ten minutes after the Obamas had (Monday), with Gray holding a pro-D.C. sign with the same muddled message the city had chosen for the stand outside the Wilson Building.”

A SHOUT OUT: To gay folks, per the Washington Post, “President Obama on Monday became the first president to use the word “gay” as a reference to sexual orientation in an inaugural address, declaring the movement for equality to be part of the pantheon of America’s great civil rights struggles. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” the president said. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”

POLITICO PLAY: “President Barack Obama insisted four years ago that the nation must make “hard decisions” to preserve entitlement programs. But on Monday, the “hard choices” he spoke of on health care and the deficit came with a major caveat: He’s not willing to give up much.”

PROTECTION: For a lot of people, per the Virginian-Pilot, “A Senate committee (has) passed a bill expanding (Virginia’s) nondiscrimination law to include protections for workers who are pregnant, homosexual or have served in the military. SB701 prohibits discrimination against state employees and applicants for state jobs based on sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy or childbirth. It also adds veterans to the list.”

GIFTED STUDENTS: On the move?, per the Washington Examiner, “Fairfax County school officials are expected to decide this week whether to move some of the students enrolled in the county's most academically advanced program for elementary and middle school students into less crowded schools. The plan has prompted parents to pack school board meetings, with some praising a move to alleviate overpopulated schools and others worried about uprooting students.”

MARYLAND CRACKDOWN: A potential move on cell phones, per the Baltimore Sun, “The chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees traffic laws will announce Tuesday that he will introduce legislation that would allow police to pull over a driver using a hand-held cell phone even if the motorist is not committing another offense. Del. James E. Malone Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat, said Monday that he plans to renew his effort to treat driving while talking on a hand-held phone the same as driving while texting.”

OF MONITORING: Surprising findings, per the Washington Times, “The Prince George's County Police Department’s new gun-offender registry unit is monitoring fewer convicted gun offenders than the number it initially estimated, according to data provided by police. Nearly six months since the county began requiring people convicted of gun-related offenses to register with the department, 55 people were being monitored as of Jan. 13.”

MARTIN LUTHER KING: Students salute him, per InsideNova, “Standing near a large portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the stage at the Hylton Memorial Chapel Monday, six area middle and high school students gave speeches inspired by King’s words. The theme for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Oratorical Contest, sponsored by the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., was “The time is always right to do what is right,” a quotation taken from King’s 1965 commencement address at Oberlin College.”

DREAMLINER PROBE: It’s all about the parts, per the Los Angeles Times, “The investigation into battery problems on the much-heralded Boeing 787 Dreamliner expanded to the plane's Japanese battery manufacturer and the Arizona makers of other electronic components. Federal Aviation Administration officials Monday joined authorities in Japan who are looking into the manufacturing process at the Kyoto maker of the lithium-ion battery that caught fire on two recent Dreamliner flights, prompting the FAA last week to ground the plane.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards beat Portland 98-95.

--Skip Wood

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