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That '62 Sedan Was a Real Bomb

Pennsylvania's Shock

Speaking of the Department of Homeland Security, sometimes word of change spreads a bit slowly within the department. This news release came in Wednesday from DHS announcing some grants.

"Secretary Tom Ridge today announced 230 grants to fire departments . . ."

_____In the Loop_____
From HHS, the E-Z Way to Raise Teens (The Washington Post, Apr 1, 2005)
Running on Empty (The Washington Post, Mar 30, 2005)
Comeback Kids in Florida (The Washington Post, Mar 28, 2005)
All in the Family (The Washington Post, Mar 25, 2005)
A President Precedent (The Washington Post, Mar 23, 2005)
More In the Loop

No "Ich Bin Ein Frankfurter"

President Bush's fence-mending trip to Europe last month may not be long remembered over there the way President John F. Kennedy's trip to Berlin is remembered or how President Richard M. Nixon's to Moscow is recalled.

But some people and businesses around Mainz, Germany, where Bush stopped for eight hours to meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, are not forgetting it anytime soon.

In fact, Lufthansa Airlines is still considering seeking compensation from the German government -- which acted apparently at the behest of Bush's security folks -- for millions in losses it incurred when its giant hub in nearby Frankfurt was shut down during Bush's arrival and departure, an airline spokesman said yesterday.

As a result, Lufthansa was forced to cancel 92 flights, affecting 5,730 passengers, a company spokesman in Germany said at the time, causing millions of dollars in losses. An additional 330 flights were delayed a total of 300 hours.

That does not count losses for local stores in Mainz, where the city center was blocked off, or closure of four highways for several hours or the stoppage of river traffic on the Rhine. (This is not like the Potomac but more like Interstate 95 on water, with constant commercial barge traffic.) Shipping authorities said losses could run into the hundreds of millions.

Maybe next time just a nice phone chat or a videoconference would do.

Leahy Losing Top Aide

Luke S. Albee -- longtime chief of staff to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and one of the most highly regarded aides in the Senate, on both sides of the aisle -- is going private, heading off to work for Democratic strategist Steve Richetti. Albee, a 20-year Senate veteran, is perhaps most remembered for his prescient intervention in 2001 in stopping mail deliveries to the office before the Leahy anthrax letter could be delivered.

The Ticket Out of the Frying Pan

It's official, almost. The long-anticipated nomination of Zalmay Khalilzad, now our man in Kabul, to replace John D. Negroponte as ambassador to Iraq could come as early as today, according to a Reuters report. The coveted Baghdad post opened when Bush tapped Negroponte to be national intelligence czar.

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