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Fry Rapprochement

The language of love can once again be spoken in the halls of your House of Representatives today, as GOP leaders have quietly - almost furtively - re-labeled "Freedom Toast" as French Toast.

The switch in the House basement cafeteria, first reported in this morning's Washington Times, came at some point yesterday, the first week of an extended recess for the House. A trip downstairs this morning by yours truly confirmed the change: there, plain as day, the sign reads "French Toast" and "Fries."

Recall that it was the now embattled Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, along with Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who were in the vanguard of the campaign to rename the comestibles "Freedom Fries" and "Freedom Toast." They took their stand during the run-up to the Iraq war as the French were demurring in the face of efforts to get them to contribute men and materiel to the invasion.

Now, three and half years later, Jones is a Republican pariah due to his lonely call for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. For his part, Ney has been forced from the chairmanship of the committee in charge of running House operations after former House aides tied to Jack Abramoff pled guilty to bribing Ney with "a stream of things of value." Times do change.

A spokesman for Rep. Vern Ehlers, R-Mich., Ney's replacement as chairman of the House Administration Committee, says, "It's no big deal," and, "It's not news." This notwithstanding the fact that Ney and Jones had a big ol' press conference at the time of the initial change. The new spokesman is refusing requests for a photo-op.

But a new day has dawned and a new regime is in place. Word is that members had been asking about the change, and so, when not many people were looking, the switch was made.