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Year in Review: Viral marketing 

The Department of Homeland Security won’t make its super-official, you-can-bank-on-it Record of Decision until January 12, 2009 (eight days before radical agent-of-change Obama takes his presidential oath), but the Environmental Impact Statement’s already out, and San Antonio didn’t get the nod for NBAF, a massive germ-research lab that will replace the country’s nigh-obsolete Plum Island facility.

That dubious economic and environmental gamble goes to Manhattan ... Kansas, despite San Antonio’s best come-hither striptease, which included financial incentives backed by Governor Good Hair and a compliant daily that ran a boosterish headline anytime it could get a local industry sort to talk up the NBAF prospect.

Homeland’s own risk analysis, undertaken only after a tongue-lashing by the U.S. General Accountability Office for failing to take into account the potential outbreak of incurable diseases, suggested that a Plum Island retrofit would be the safest bet. In Plum’s favor, starting with non-Mainland status, count the annual carrier-killing freezes, steady seaward breezes, and lack of facilitating livestock. Ah, well. Manhattan ... Kansas is 755 miles as the suburban drives. We can all get to Mexico before a rogue zoonotic makes it to DFW.

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