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Campaigning by the Book
No Longer SIIC
Notice to the media and to copy editors around the world! The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which changed its name in May to just the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) has a new abbreviation. As the Loop pointed out Wednesday, Washington and others felt SIIC, or "sick," didn't seem right for one of the country's most powerful Shiite parties.
So word came yesterday that the English name has been changed to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq -- (ISCI, or "iskey"). The Web site is being changed accordingly. Much better.
Piloting the FAA
Record delays, cancellations and such are giving airline passengers fits these days. The system is confronting contentious labor issues, complex technology overruns and general disarray.
So there's more than the usual interest in who might be replacing beleaguered Federal Aviation Administration chief Marion C . Blakey when her five-year term ends Sept. 13.
The buzz of late is that the leading contender is Barbara Barrett, a pilot, former deputy administrator of the agency in the Reagan administration and former vice chairman of the old Civil Aeronautics Board .
Barrett, an aviation lawyer who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination for Arizona governor back in 1994, had been picked by President Bush in July 2003 to be secretary of the Air Force in anticipation of incumbent James Roche moving over to be Army secretary. But the latter move never happened.
It's unclear, in the waning days of the administration, whether Senate Democrats -- still fuming over the sleight-of-hand recess appointment of Missouri developer Sam Fox, a mega-GOP contributor and Swift Boat benefactor, to be ambassador to Belgium -- would be inclined to move on Barrett's nomination.
Well, if not, a recess appointment, good through the end of the administration, will at least afford Barrett, whose husband is Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, a trip to the Paris Air Show next year.
Gonzales Career Change?
For a week now, the Department of Justice Web site has headlined a press release about the indictment of a "Global Terrorist" and his brother on terrorism-related charges. When that terrorist is caught, just like with Osama bin Laden, he'll surely be shipped off to Guantanamo.
Hmmm. Didn't know Attorney General Alberto "Fredo" Gonzale s had a brother.
Speaking of the Justice Department, Brian Roehrkasse, deputy director of public affairs, is moving up to take the top spot in that office. Former public affairs chief Tasia Scolinos has retired after taking maternity leave. Roehrkasse, who worked on the Bush 2000 campaign, later worked at the Department of Transportation and then at the Department of Homeland Security. Peter Carr, now communications director for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), moves over to be Roehrkasse's deputy.
Favorite for FEC
Cyndi Bauerly, legislative director for Sen. Charles "Hedgeman" Schumer (D-N.Y.) -- the liberal senator who defended preferential tax rates for hedge-fund gazillionaires -- is said to be the pick to be nominated for a Democratic seat on the dentally challenged Federal Election Commission. Bauerly would be taking the seat occupied by former chairman Ellen L. Weintraub.
Ripken to Pitch for State
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has picked Orioles great and Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. to be a special sports envoy, joining public diplomacy czarina Karen P. Hughes in "promoting cross-cultural dialogue with international youth to increase understanding of America," according to an announcement yesterday.
A little baseball promotion in the Middle East?