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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Pack the car, or your gut

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's the day before Thanksgiving and if your suitcase isn't packed, your refrigerator probably is. Soon, we hope, it'll be your stomach that will be full. For those heading out of town: We're here to help. Our reporters will be stationed at all major airports today and we'll be monitoring the roads to help you navigate to wherever you're headed. So check with us early and often. And did I mention the news? Well, we've got plenty of that too. Read on.

It's getting colder. Indeed, just as The Capital Weather Gang predicted, temperatures are dropping. They say it'll be breezy today with lots of sunshine but temperatures will only hit the low 50's. Clouds start to move in in the afternoon.Strong winds from New York to Maine may delay some east coast fliers, but the rain isn't expected to arrive until late tonight. Thanksgiving Day will be cloudy with a chance of showers.

Coming up:

Planes, trains and automobiles. I suppose you can think of today as the mother of all commute days. Trains, planes, roads -- all likely to be packed. Here are some tips from Dr. Gridlock on what to expect today and how to avoid worst-case scenarios. Also, some tips for navigating airport security -- hopefully you aren't flying during peak travel times. We also encourage you to tweet us your travel experiences using #TSATime and we'll keep track of your stories here.

Gobble, gobble. Today is the annual turkey pardoning ceremony at The White House. We'll be there to capture the happy moment. Couple of facts: The lucky turkey is from California, where it was raised by the folks at Foster Farms. The bird that gets the nod is one of several "presidential" turkeys raised for this very moment. Here's a fun video courtesy of CBS News on this year's candidates for the presidential turkey pardon. Also, see our Post video of the pardon of Pecan and Pumpkin.

More subpoenas expected. D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said he will issue a second subpoena today with the goal of getting a more detailed accounting of how a non-profit group controlled by D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. spent money that was donated to the group. On Tuesday, Thomas provide information he said complied with Nickles' original subpoena, but, citing privacy concerns, declined to release a detailed list of donors.

Today's headlines:

So NOT the holiday spirit. Staff at Montgomery County's Manna Food Center arrived at work on Tuesday to discover that thieves had stolen one of their delivery trucks. Thieves also made off with food from another truck. (NBC 4)

Too good to be true? Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's plan to private state-run liquor stores may have overstated by tens of millions of dollars the amount of money the state could make from selling the system, according to a legislative study that was released Tuesday. One example: Auditors found that the state could receive less than half of the $160 million McDonnell expected from selling wholesale liquor licenses and as much as $81 million less from auctioning off retail licenses. Moreover, the price of distilled spirits in the state could rise.

Fenty proposes budget cuts. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty released his much-anticipated budget plan -- proposing a series of program cuts and jobs cuts designed to close a projected $188 million budget gap in the current fiscal year. Included among the recommended reductions: cutbacks in the mayor's summer jobs program and a reduction in Circulator bus service on weekend nights. A hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Metro fixes on the way? Leaders in Maryland and Virginia and D.C.'s incoming mayor have directed their top transportation officials to come up with a detailed plan for carrying out changes in how Metro is run, with the goal of making the system safer and more efficient. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray agreed on the plan during a conference call Tuesday.

In short. Prince George's County schools have been sued for discrimination. (Post); Eight people have been sickened by a salmonella outbreak at a Frederick nursing home. (Frederick News-Post); The man who shot and killed D.C. principal Brian Betts was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday. (Post)

Other items:

The time of her life. For all those folks who remember that "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," moment from the movie "Dirty Dancing," there was likely much joy and celebration -- and possibly even a tear or two -- as Jennifer Gray and partner won the coveted mirror ball trophy to bring the 11th season of "Dancing With The Stars" to a close. Bristol Palin finished third.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back with us for more updates on traffic and travel on this very busy day before Thanksgiving. There will be no A.M. Buzz tomorrow (day off) or Friday (working but have other tasks), but I'll be back on Monday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

By Lori Aratani  | November 24, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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