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Hello, Sailor!

By their actions, the airport police "are primarily responsible for greatly weakening private property rights . . . advocates on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee," Cushman said. So "we are urging you to make all your flight arrangements avoiding the [airport] for at least the next year and probably longer," and to urge everyone you know "to try to avoid any flights" through there.

Airline travel hasn't been tough enough lately.

The Rohrabacher Revolt

Nary a day goes by that President Bush doesn't find himself in hot water over something. This time, it's some GOP conservatives who are most upset that he seemed soft on Chicom President Hu Jintao.

The two leaders got together in Australia this week during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Bush told reporters that Hu invited him to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and said he was "anxious" to accept the invite. "He's an easy man to talk to," Bush said.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), in his usual understated way, fired off a statement yesterday asking: "If this were 1936, would President Bush be anxious to sit next to Adolf?" Rohrabacher said Bush's "presence in the Communist Party's sky box is certainly contradictory to his so-called commitment to democracy in the Middle East."

"One bit of advice, Mr. President," Rohrabacher said, "I wouldn't be so anxious to use the toothpaste in your hotel room."

Still, the Olympic Games are always exciting, though Bush might want to take a surgical mask if Hu fails in his effort to clean up the city's horrific air pollution in time for the games. And don't miss the Li Family Restaurant in the Hutong area. Excellent food. Cheap.

Someone Else Write This

Everyone always awaits the quarterly reports to Congress by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr. The reports are keenly read, though they are often real downers, revealing tremendous waste and fraud and not very much progress on the reconstruction front.

They also must be quite taxing to produce, since it appears Bowen is outsourcing the effort. The Army Contracting Agency announced the other day that it is asking for private companies -- small businesses only -- "to procure all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other items and non-personal services necessary to perform data collection, analysis, design, formation and other project management support to ensure publication of the quarterly report."

Well, at least he's not outsourcing himself.

On the Move

Getting kinda lonely at the Justice Department these days. All three of the top slots -- attorney general, deputy and associate -- will be filled by "acting" officials when Alberto Gonzales leaves in 10 days.

Yesterday, Peter D. Keisler, head of the civil division, announced that he is leaving in two weeks, though the former Supreme Court clerk remains a nominee to the federal appeals court here.

His departure will leave only two of the department's six key litigation divisions headed by Senate-confirmed officials: Alice Fisher in the criminal division and Tom Barnett in antitrust.

Acting folks already are running the environmental, civil rights and tax divisions.

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