Jim Vance, a journalist for NBC in Washington. (Helayne Seidman)

The D.C. Council has a lot on its plate for 2012 . In addition to being an election year, there are major ethics reforms to be implemented, a federal probe to deal with and a plan to overhaul taxicab regulations to name a few. And yesterday, Council chairman Kwame Brown introduced a proposal that would force all D.C. public school students, including those at charters, to not only take college entrance exams, but also apply to post-secondary schools, even if they don't plan to go. The Post's Tim Craig reports.

I believe the saying goes: Everyone loves a parade . And if that's the case downtown, the Chinese New Year parade could become the biggest thing this city's seen since the last inauguration. The event, which is typically a photo opportunity for the area's Chinese community, is thinking bright lights for the future. As in, a Macy's Thanksgiving style operation. The Post's Monica Hesse reports that those in charge have hired the Ad Agency to help with the cause.

While Republicans lick their wounds from the Iowa caucus , President Obama is making his own moves. Today, POTUS will name Richard Cordray as his chief consumer watchdog, sources say. The Senate has blasted the move as inappropriate, considering it to simply be an executive power play designed to get the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau up and moving. The appointment basically tells the Senate that Obama will do what he has to protect the economy, in his opinion.

If you attend gyms regularly, you know that January is easily their busiest month . Beyond personal pledges and resolutions from people looking to get back in shape, many companies offer deals that are impossible to pass up if you ever plan on working out. But if you have trouble with self-motivation to exercise, there's an app for that. A new startup called GymPact will actually charge you money when you blow off a workout. Slate's Matthew Yglesias has the details.

The Capitals seem to be a bit snakebitten . On the same day that defenseman Mike Green returned from a long stint on the injury list, Nicklas Backstrom was potentially concussed after a brutal elbow shot from the Flames' Rene Bourque. Although the Caps played well in the 3-1 win, Backstrom's injury was the main story. Coach Dale Hunter pulled the Swede from the game as a precautionary measure and there should be an update on his condition later today. The Post's Katie Carrera reports.

Extra Bites

• The transfer of Union Square from the National Park Service to the Architect of the Capitol has an impact on more than just the security situation on The Hill. It could seriously impact film and television production in the District.

• If you have access to parking spaces you never really use, there's a British Web site that wants to help you rent them out.

• If you think your New Year's Eve didn't go as planned, check this video out.

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