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Good morning, Capitolists! That faint sound you hear is the music, and it's time to face it. Vacation's over, the 2010 election cycle has officially begun, and Washington is back in business.
Here's what's making news in the capital today:
* The Story Everyone's Talking About. The TSA announced yesterday that travelers from 14 terror-prone countries will get extra screening before boarding flights to the United States, The Washington Post reports. The new procedures will include "full body pat-down and physical inspection of property," and sound a lot like a suggestion Newt Gingrich made last week when he said, "It's time to profile."
* Cold Comfort for Obama. After a not-always-restful 10-day vacation in Hawaii, President Obama and his crew are headed back to the cold comfort of Washington today. Arrival time is set for 11:30 a.m., when a 22-degree day will welcome the Obamas back to reality.
* Obama on the Ballot in 2010. His name won't be on any state ballots, but Republicans will make President Obama their key focus in the 2010 elections, according to an analysis in Politico this morning. Says one strategist, "For candidates in multi-contestant primary fields, any opportunity to get noticed on national TV and bash Obama is golden."
* White House Chef Takes Iron Chef Honors. At least one administration official starts the new year with a win under her belt. White House chef Cristeta Comerford beat Iron Chef Mario Betali last night on the Food Network's famous cook-off, where the secret ingredient was "anything from the White House garden." First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed the whole crew to the White House grounds to inspect the garden and pick their produce, which Emeril Legasse declared "magnificent."
Join me on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.
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