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Capitol Hill's calendar is looking fuzzy
But the most spectacular feature is through the French doors: to the large balcony running along Constitution Avenue with a view of the Capitol so beautiful that television reporters often do stand-up segments from it.
We're not talking nightly keggers here, but the freshman Sen. Brown's staffers are said to be making the best of their temporary situation, taking time to enjoy the view and the breezes. Constituents also have dropped by to survey the expanse. Some folks have been known to go out onto the balcony for some privacy and better cellphone reception, which doubtless explains why they might have occasionally and mistakenly crossed the invisible barrier that separates their space from that of their next-door neighbors, the Senate Rules Committee.
But they know -- the Rules Committee has notified them as well the staff in Gillibrand's shop, now housed in Hillary Clinton's old offices -- that these glory days may be coming to an end soon no matter who controls the Senate. And if the Democrats hold on, Brown will be lucky if he gets anything above a first-floor room somewhere in Dirksen or Hart with no view to speak of.
Foggy Bottom green
Speaking of real estate, Secretary of State Clinton and other officials cut the ribbon in December on a new annex building in Foggy Bottom to house officials from several bureaus, including the Educational and Cultural Affairs folks. Seems some of the occupants have been a little remiss on the housekeeping side. So a message went out recently to people on level C-1 reminding them of the need to "avoid any potential roach and/or rodent problems."
So "do not leave dirty dishes in the sink to soak" and wipe any splatter after using the microwave, the missive says. Don't snag food or drinks from the fridge that aren't yours and keep your cubicles clean of cups and bowls and the like.
Also "since we are in a 'Green' building with water conserving toilets, please FLUSH, check and FLUSH again -- THANK YOU!"
Kermit never thought being green would come to this.
Opportunities on the Hill
There's been slow movement of veterans of the health-care reform effort to new jobs. Last month, Kavita Patel, former Senate aide and more recently a key player on the White House reform team, joined the New America Foundation. Word came Tuesday afternoon that Liz Fowler, the Senate Finance Committee's highly regarded health policy chief, is leaving to be the deputy director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services.