Grapevine: High tech oath for US ambassador to Switzerland

Susan LeVine sworn in on Amazon Kindle


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Pipe Down

The last we heard from the administration on the Keystone XL pipeline was the April announcement of an indefinite delay on a final decision.

It drew bipartisan criticism with several Democrats calling it unacceptable.

Friday, the State Department released corrections to its environmental impact statement, which found the pipeline raised no major environment concerns.

The corrections give pipeline supporters even more ammunition to pressure the administration for approval.

They say using the pipeline -- instead of railroad -- would save between 18 and 30 deaths and about 200 injuries per year.

That's four times the original estimate.

The pipeline would also require less electricity for its pumping stations than originally reported.

Fessing Up

A Pennsylvania first-grader found a toy gun in his backpack, he knew it was not allowed, and he turned it in to the teacher.

His reward for honesty?

He was sent home and threatened with a possible expulsion.

School district policy says having a replica weapon means a one-year expulsion but allows the superintendent to change the penalty on a case-by-case basis -- which he did -- lowering it to a two day suspension.

The parents argue that the suspension itself sends a mixed message, by punishing the boy for turning himself in.


Finally, Suzan LeVine took over as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland in a new way.

She took her oath of office on an Amazon Kindle -- the first ambassador to do so.

The page on the screen -- the 19th Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote.

The high tech choice was fitting, since LeVine is a former Microsoft executive.