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Broadcasting board decides Voice of America can peruse WikiLeak documents

Try, try again at the ATF

The Obama administration, just 18 months old, may be about to nominate someone to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Buzz is the leading contender is Andrew Traver, who now heads the agency's Chicago office.

If approved, Traver would be the first-ever Senate-confirmed ATF director. The position had been filled (at the Treasury Department and more recently at Justice) without Senate input. Since it became Senate-confirmable in 2006, seems no one has made it past the watchful eyes of the gun lobby.

Senate Republicans, led by Sens. David Vitter (La.), Michael Crapo (Idaho) and former senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig (Idaho), blocked President George W. Bush's nominee, Boston federal prosecutor Michael Sullivan, saying he was not sensitive to the needs of small gun dealers. He was acting director until January 2009. The current deputy director, Kenneth E. Melson, was acting director for a while and now runs the agency as deputy director.

Getting a little trashy

Note to Amtrak: Please make sure there are adequate newspaper recycling receptacles on all train cars. Outgoing Sen. Arlen Specter (R/D-Pa.) was on Monday's noon Acela from New York to Washington working through a stack of papers and, according to the enviro police who regularly monitor these things for us, left them on the floor.

Obviously this must have been because no wastepaper receptacle was within reach. Let's get a bit more green out there, okay?

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