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The DOT Cafeteria, Not So Accommodating

- Could I hold your elbow for sighted guide assistance?
· Whenever possible, employees are encouraged to visit the cafeteria during 'non-peak' times to ensure the most efficient use of their time and prompt service. This would be prior to 12:00 pm and after 1 pm.
· Employees can also consider visiting the cafeteria with a co-worker.

Naturally, employees with disabilities found the guidance insulting and patronizing, and they were, of course, furious. Apparently it took a while for their anger to go up the chain of command,. Washington issued an apology June 2. The department also has begun sensitivity training.
But the cafeteria still needs fixing.

Beefing With Seoul
Back in April, when South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was feted at Camp David and touted as a strong contender to replace former British P.M. Tony Blair as the official Bush lap dog*, Lee said Bush would be stopping in Seoul later this year.
Then came the huge protests over Lee's decision to allow importation of U.S. beef, his polls nose-dived, and the inevitable government shake-up ensued.
The beef deal went into renegotiation, but it was still assumed that President Bush would stop in Seoul after the Group of Eight summit in Japan next month. Then the South Koreans started talking about a Bush-Lee meeting on Jeju Island, rather than in Seoul, where huge protests were pretty certain. The White House wasn't happy.

Then came news over the weekend that agreement had been reached on restricting U.S. beef imports. "We're actually moving in a good direction on the beef deal," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said yesterday. "All reports are that we have reached an agreement that we think that will actually hold and be able to work with President Lee's government." (Some close observers aren't so optimistic Lee will be able to sell this deal to the Legislative Assembly.)
So the South Korea meeting is going to happen after all?
No, the White House said. The two leaders will see each other in Japan, but that's it for now. "We will certainly have another opportunity when we head into Asia in August," she said. "But this trip will just be solely for the G-8."
Of course the August trip may be solely for the Olympics, where Bush may run into North Korea's wacky Kim Jong Il, waving his little flag. Yet another reason to boycott the opening -- though the Chicoms would go nuts if he did.

Swimming in Irony
FEMA must be feeling really good about its performance during the recent floods in the Midwest. Otherwise, how to explain the Department of Homeland Security's move Monday touting this Associated Press headline:
"Flood Victims Say FEMA Is Doing a Heckuva Job."
Maybe they've forgotten the last time FEMA did so well? Or maybe FEMA always does a heckuva job, with or without Brownie.

Doug Feith, Wanted Man
The House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights and civil liberties yesterday authorized Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to subpoena former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to testify before the committee.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) joined majority Democrats in the move, which came after Feith, who was scheduled to testify last Wednesday, declined to appear because former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson, who had called Feith names, was to be on the same panel.
Meanwhile, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, who has also been subpoenaed, and John C. Yoo, the former Justice Department official who wrote the memo backing harsh interrogation techniques, are scheduled to testify tomorrow.

Just an Envoy
U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad keeps almost knocking down the rumor that he's thinking about running for president of Afghanistan, the country where he was born and which, as U.S. ambassador a few years ago, he pretty much ran -- and ran effectively.
"I'm the U.S. representative at the United Nations," he told National Public Radio in an interview last week. "I'm proud of doing that. I will help Afghanistan when I leave this job."
As for his future, he said the rumor "keeps on coming" but "I've stated what I've stated repeatedly: I have a soft spot for Afghanistan, but running for the president is not a part of my plan."
On the other hand, to paraphrase Obama, if Khalilzad concluded Afghanistan were truly a broken country, then he would be compelled to run, despite earlier statements that he was not going to.

Maybe 'The Love Guru'?
John McCain's camp has been hammering away at Barack Obama on energy policies and offshore drilling. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds says that while the senator from Arizona is putting the country first with the best ideas from both parties, his colleague from Illinois has become "the 'Dr. No' " of energy, refusing to accept any idea that will contribute to solving America's energy crisis.
Nice shot, but he might want to update the reference. The James Bond movie "Dr. No" was 46 years ago. Even Ursula Andress is 72 years old. Think youth vote.

* Lap dog
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A lap dog (or lapdog) is a dog that is small enough to be held in the arms or lie comfortably on a person's lap. A lapdog is not a specific breed, but is a generic term for a type of dog of small size and friendly disposition.

Lapdogs historically were kept in many societies around the world by individuals with leisure time, as docile companion animals with no working function. Today, most lapdogs fall into the toy dog breed group.

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