Maybe it was the mountain-bike heist.
Former first daughter Jenna Bush and her husband, Henry Hager, have moved out of their South Baltimore rowhouse and put it up for sale.
The couple bought the two-story, 1880s rowhouse in March 2008 for $440,000, and moved in shortly after their wedding that May.
The 3BR, 3BA end-of-group property, listed this week for $474,900, boasts a private garage, "luxurious sea grass carpeting" and unspecified "security features." (Not that the security system did much to deter the thieves who swiped two Trek mountain bikes from the couple's garage in June.)
It's not clear if Bush and Hager continue to live in Baltimore or the area. Will Runnebaum, a broker with Marcus-Boyd Realty, which is listing the house, was not authorized to say.
Shortly after moving to the area, Bush taught at SEED School of Maryland, a public boarding school in Baltimore. She left this fall, according to Laura O'Connor of the SEED Foundation.
In August 2009, Bush began part-time work as a correspondent for the "Today Show" out of NBC's Washington bureau. Did that job prompt the move? A network spokeswoman did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Hager continues to work for Constellation Energy, Constellation spokesman Larry McDonnell confirmed this week. But McDonnell declined to say if Hager is still employed in Baltimore or if he's working somewhere else for the energy conglomerate.
David Sherzer, a spokesman in former President Bush's Dallas office, wasn't talking either.
"Unfortunately, we don't comment on the girls," said Sherzer, who grew up in Maryland and offered up this much: "I'm the only Orioles fan in the [Dallas-Fort Worth] metroplex."
Wherever she went, Jenna Bush demonstrated some political savvy in the way she moved out: She knew enough not to hire Mayflower, the company some Baltimoreans still blame for relocating the Colts to Indianapolis. A neighbor who spied the movers last week tells me it was an unmarked truck.
When did "America's Union Movement," as the AFL-CIO calls itself, become a religious movement?
Ernie Grecco, the longtime president of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, sent an official e-mail this week heralding this news: "Christianity Under Attack."
"CHRISTIANITY IS UNDER SEVERE ATTACK!!!," it began. "WE MUST TAKE A STAND!!! IF WE DON'T, WE WILL FALL!!!"
What followed was a poem, a spoof on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" that complains about the commercialization of Christmas and has made the rounds on the Internet for years — long enough for many of the targets to have passed into irrelevance. Here's a bit:
"At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears / You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears / Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty / Are words that were used to intimidate me / Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen / On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton! / At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter / To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter."
The poem also contains this line: "Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa / In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda."
Grecco did not return my phone call, so I'm left to wonder about a couple of things: Is putting Christ back in Christmas an official position of the AFL-CIO? And how are those swipes at Clinton et al. going over with the Democratic Party faithful who are labor's best buds?
Connect the dots
Artisan sausage-maker Stanley Feder, of Simply Sausage in Landover, has invited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to a workshop to learn how to make sausage. Feder was profiled Sunday in The New York Times' Week in Review section saying, "I'm so insulted when people say that lawmaking is like sausage making." He tells me business has been up since the profile hit the newsstands. … U.S. and South Korean officials hammered out the "rough outlines" of a trade-deal compromise last week at the Sheraton hotel in Columbia, The Washington Post reported, "with an artificial lake and Columbia Mall as the diplomatic backdrop." It was even less glamorous than that, The Sun's Larry Carson tells me: The lake is being dredged, so there's a steam shovel where the water should be. …Del. Donna Stifler came to the inauguration of the Harford County executive and council fashionably attired but unprepared for the biting cold. She sat shivering without a hat or gloves at the outdoor ceremony in front of the county's historic courthouse in Bel Air. "I didn't read the part of the invitation that said 'outside,'" she told The Sun's Mary Gail Hare. She considered a quick trip to a nearby Main Street shop, but from the crowd came a lovely wool scarf and — even better — a thick wool blanket. "I feel like a charity case," she said. "I guess I will re-read every invitation I have for the next few weeks."
Not Blaze's Block
I wanted Blaze Starr's take on this week's fire on The Block, but managed only to get hold of the former burlesque star's brother, Benny Fleming. They're both in rural West Virginia. "Twenty-five miles or better from the nearest traffic light," he told me. "That's the way we like it."
Fleming said Blaze, now 79 and busy with a jewelry business, was out of town. He'd heard about the fire but hadn't been to The Block in 15 years. He wasn't impressed with what had become of the area where his sister had reigned from 1950 to 1975.
"There were a lot of undesirables down there," he said.