Washington Metro News

Washington Metro News

Snow on my mind

For obvious reasons, I have snow on my mind.

In between snow emergencies, I was walking to work yesterday down Pennsylvania Avenue, when I hit a predictably bad stretch of sidewalk. Except for one thing. This stretch of sidewalk was right in front of Chevy Chase Bank. For some reason, they didn’t bother to shovel their snow.

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Widespread panic

There's a great scene in the movie “Airplane” where the passengers, in response to a request to assume the crash position, go into complete panic mode.

That reminds me of what usually happens at the first signs of a “snow emergency” in Washington. People flock to the stores, buying food they don’t need, toilet paper they couldn’t possibly use over a weekend and a variety of others things that they probably already have in their house somewhere, which they bought during the previous snow panic.

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Palin, pandas, parties and departees

All those who are focusing on the Tea Party movement with all its fervor for rattling the Washington cage this weekend are missing the really important event that was the main focus in D.C.

Of course that would be the big "P" party. For "Panda," of course. It too was a movement and it also involved a cage. This P party, along with a second one in Atlanta, was not just a sad farewell, but one hell of a metaphor.

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Paula Nowakowski

As I drove my wife back to her office after the funeral of my good friend Jeff Becker, a bumper sticker on the car in front of me caught my attention. “What if the hokey-pokey is what it is all about?”

The thought made me laugh, which is nice, because on Friday, I will be attending the funeral of another friend who died suddenly, unexpectedly, and all too soon.

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When the president’s life is threatened

CHICAGO — It is clear that the American people have a fascination with party-crashing, as has been portrayed by pop culture in the movie “Wedding Crashers” — for these crashers, the bigger the party, the better. And no party is bigger or more difficult to get into than a Secret Service-guarded presidential state dinner.

One can only dream of the adrenaline rush experienced by the two crashers who continue to make headline news after they shamefully exposed large holes in the Secret Service that is supposed to protect our president from the nefarious schemes of those who would like to destroy our country.

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When the president’s life is threatened

CHICAGO — It is clear that the American people have a fascination with party-crashing, as has been portrayed by pop culture in the movie “Wedding Crashers” — for these crashers, the bigger the party, the better. And no party is bigger or more difficult to get into than a Secret Service-guarded presidential state dinner.

One can only dream of the adrenaline rush experienced by the two crashers who continue to make headline news after they shamefully exposed large holes in the Secret Service that is supposed to protect our president from the nefarious schemes of those who would like to destroy our country.

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Salahi business no laughing matter

At first I thought it was. The White House party crashers were a perfect reality TV couple and the storyline was entertaining. I thought the whole affair was little more than tabloid-type hype.

Upon further reflection, I have changed my mind. This breach of security rates significantly higher than managing to sneak a five-ounce bottle of shampoo onto an airplane, as opposed to the permissible three-ounce version that makes us all safe from terrorists. (Gee — I know I feel a lot safer with that regulation.)

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Restored in Washington: Respect for public service

Check out an article in Business Week about how things are changing in Washington, and the blog, which fills in the rest:

I was impressed by the Obamans respect for the people who work in government. The Bush administration treated government workers like lazy dolts—setting rigid goals for them and outsourcing government functions to private industry as much as possible. (Do a Google search on “Halliburton” to see how well that worked out for the taxpayer.) In contrast, Zients helps government people set their own goals and provides some of the essential tools they need to accomplish them. Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and good-government maven, explains the shift: “In the past, government workers were told that government is the problem and nothing was expected of them. Now there’s a new message: You do matter. Now, get stuff done.


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The broken belief system

An apparently uninvited couple waltzes past what we have always been told is an impenetrable human wall against danger to the president.

We may have already forgotten the failures a few months ago in what we had grown up believing were the failsafe procedures to prevent cataclysmic disaster with our nuclear arsenal. Remember the cross-country B-52 flight of missiles that were never supposed to be armed over the United States, but were? Or the theft of a device carrying launch codes, or the Minuteman Three crewmembers caught sleeping near their silo duty posts?

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Next stop for crashers: Federal prison

As someone who usually goes to the White House three times a week for the press briefings, let me tell you: It’s not easy to get in, even if you’re a regular.

You could bust into the Vatican and sit on the pope’s lap easier than you could get anywhere near the president of the United States.

Or so we all thought, until last week’s State Dinner, when a publicity-hungry couple from Northern Virginia strolled into the White House and shook hands with Barack Obama as easy as if they were walking into McDonald’s.

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