Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Officials with Asiana Airlines, whose plane crashed at San Francisco airport nine days ago killing three passengers, say they will sue a local TV station for damaging the airlines' reputation.
Late last week, Fox affiliate KTVU fell for a prank and reported erroneous and racially offensive names for the pilots. The station apologized and the NTSB acknowledged an intern overstepped his duties by confirming the information.
But Asiana isn't satisfied. Public relations expert Frasier Seitel says suing is a bad idea -- quote -- "if the airline sues anybody, it should be the NTSB. As a common sense matter, the Asiana pilots undershot a runway in broad daylight that a even novice pilot should have made. Bottom line, don't bring any more attention to a story that the airline can only hope disappears quickly, i.e., drop the suit."
Sign Me Up
California's Insurance Commissioner is warning residents enrolling in ObamaCare could also sign them up for identity theft and fraud.
Starting in October, Covered California will have 21,000 enrollment counselors. State insurance commissioner Dave Jones -- a Democrat -- worries they will not be properly screened and could take advantage of those enrolling after gaining access to Social Security numbers, bank accounts and health records.
Jones said quote "We can have a real disaster on our hands," adding, "it's possible they will obtain information that will allow them to build the trust they have with the individual they're working with and potentially sell them all manner of bogus products, steal their identity, gain access to certain assets they might have. The list is virtually endless."
A spokesman for Covered California says the exchange has enacted new guidelines requiring counselors to be fingerprinted, undergo background checks and wear name badges.
Just When You Thought It Was Safe...
A bizarre phenomenon has dominated Twitter over the past few days: "Sharknado."
The SyFy network premiered the disaster film Thursday night about a tornado dropping sharks on Los Angeles. It became the talk of social media with the movie getting as many as 5,000 tweets per minute.
Friday, folks here in Washington weighed in.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tweeted something Affordable Care Act opponents weren't laughing about "In 2014, Sharknado injuries will be covered as a pre-existing condition under ObamaCare."
The EPA then chimed in, "Climate change may lead to rising sea levels and more intense storms, but currently no science to support the occurrence of a Sharknado."
Updating a story we told you about Friday, a virtual study of a cow's life. The National Science Foundation reached out to us to clarify the grant awarded to Stanford University did not apply to the cow study, but rather four other virtual experiments.