Sunday, June 29, 2008

Revealed: secret Soviet maps to occupy Scotland - Scotland on Sunday

Revealed: secret Soviet maps to occupy Scotland - Scotland on Sunday: "How the top secret Soviet maps of Scotland which the Red Army drew up with the goal of occupying the country can be revealed. The charts prove beyond any doubt that agents of the Kremlin created detailed charts of huge swathes of the nation."
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Good luck on that project, laddie. The Romans tried. They finally gave up and built a wall to keep the Scots out.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We're from the government and we're here to help you

News from The Associated Press: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- As salmonella cases continue to climb, the government is checking if tainted tomatoes really are to blame for the record outbreak - or if the problem is with another ingredient, or a warehouse that is contaminating newly harvested tomatoes.

The widening outbreak - with 810 people confirmed ill - means whatever is making people sick could very well still be on the market, federal health officials warned on Friday."

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So basically the feds don't know if it was a tomato issue at all, after telling us it was, and they don't know what else it might have been if it wasn't tomatoes, and they don't know whether it is tomatoes or something else that is still out there on the shelves making people sick.

Thanks for the information. Very helpful.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

cbs2chicago.com - Gun Lobby Quickly Sues To Overturn Chicago Ban


cbs2chicago.com - Gun Lobby Quickly Sues To Overturn Chicago Ban: "CHICAGO (CBS) ― A U.S. Supreme Court decision has been the talk of the nation on Thursday. A handgun ban in Washington, D.C. has been struck down by the high court."
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POLS 354:
This class predicted the outcome of the case two months ago. Good work.

And next on the agenda will be state laws. Is the 2nd Amendment a "fundamental right" that is incorporated into the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, that would restrict state and local governments? My opinion is "yes." But we will see.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The joys of government health care

Man pulls tooth after years on waiting list | Herald Sun: "A New South Wales man has pulled out his own rotten tooth after waiting years for public dental treatment.

Jeff Miners said he extracted his own molar tooth about four weeks ago, after he had languished on a series of public dental waiting lists since 2001.

Despite having a mouthful of rotten teeth, the 58-year-old from Bega in southern NSW has gone without treatment except for a single filling in 2005."

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After Obama and the Democratic Congress bring us government health care, we can all enjoy the pleasures of self-service.

Deja vu all over again? First Perot, then Nader?

Nader: Obama 'talking white' : "Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader accused Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic Party nominee, of downplaying poverty issues, trying to 'talk white' and appealing to 'white guilt' during his run for the White House.

Nader, a thorn in the Democratic Party's side since the 2000 presidential election, has taken various shots at Obama in recent days while ramping up his latest independent run for president."

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It is hard to see how Nader could draw lefty votes away from Obama, who is hugely popular with the left. But who knows?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama Campaign Drops Faux Presidential Seal - Advertising Age - Campaign Trail


Obama Campaign Drops Faux Presidential Seal : "Last week, Barack Obama unveiled a new campaign seal -- and not the kind that swims, barks and balances balls on the end of its nose. Rather, it was the kind that has a big old eagle on it and some Latin (Vero possumus, which translates very loosely to 'Yes we can'). It's also a seal that combined elements of Richard Nixon's White House police uniforms and George W. Bush's 'Mission Accomplished.' And it went over about as well. Andrew Malcolm at the L.A. Times had some fun with it. And Mickey Kaus predicted it would be disappeared over the weekend. His exact words were: 'But unless David Axelrod is insane, the thing will never be seen again.' Kaus was right. While we don't have full details, someone at Obama's press center, when asked if the seal would be used going forward said simply, 'No.' "
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I am interested in seeing whether voters continue to like Barack Obama as they learn more about him and what kind of person he is. Living in Illinois and teaching Political Science, I pay attention to things like that. I think he is supremely ambitious, arrogant, narcissistic (how many people manage to write two autobiographies by age 45?), unbelievably manipulative, and willing to say and do absolutely anything to succeed. This phony presidential seal is evidence of an ego that knows no bounds. He is in love with himself, and he firmly believes that everybody else is or should be as well. His main advantages in this campaign are his obvious intelligence, his speaking ability, his looks, the nation's deep desire to repudiate George W. Bush and everything they associate with him, and a national news media that fawns Obama to the point where it is embarrassing to watch. You just want to ask them to get a room. But over the next few months, and especially after Labor Day, the public will focus more closely on both Obama and McCain, and we will see how each of them fares.

And they say conservatives are a threat to civil liberties?

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist: "James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer."
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Thought crimes. Criminalizing dissent. Silencing open discussion of ideas. And from the left.

Feminist icon was a lousy mother--is this a surprise?

How my mother's fanatical feminist views tore us apart, by the daughter of The Color Purple author | Mail Online: "She's revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author Alice Walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women's rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn't buy in to Alice's beliefs - her daughter, Rebecca, 38.

Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises - a mother."

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This is a sad story. Alice Walker treated her daughter like an unwanted pet, leaving her on her own for months at a time so the great feminist author could go globe-trotting and pen her words of wisdom. Her daughter now has a few words of her own about her mother.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Can you spell HUBRIS?


Barack Obama gets his own nifty Great Seal; all he needs now is votes | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times: "Obama now has his own Great Seal already. And it is really, really big. It's big like the tires on those elevated pickups in the parking lot at NASCAR races where you look out the car window and see nothing but fist-sized lug nuts. Obama's new seal looks really presidential, which is probably a coincidence, don't you think? Obama's seal has an eagle just like the president's seal and he or she is holding arrows to signify war, which Obama was against before it even started. And it's got olive branches, which stand for peace, which we haven't really had since 9/11 but DailyKos promises will come as soon as we shoo out Bush and Cheney. The seal's also got a terrifically impressive motto in Latin -- 'Vero Possumus' -- which means 'The possum speaks truthily.' No, just kidding. It actually means 'Truly we're able,' which translates as 'Si se puede,'"
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If we had an independent press covering this campaign, they would be asking what this says about Obama. He hasn't finished a term as Senator, much less won the election, and he has already given himself a presidential seal. I have to admit that it goes well with the halo the press gave him.
Here we have the first presidential candidate from either major party who opted out of the public financing system, and it is like that never happened. He calls himself a reformer. Can anybody in the major media find a story here?

I guess not.

Friday, June 20, 2008

David Brooks nails Barack Obama


Op-Ed Columnist - The Two Obamas - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com: "God, Republicans are saps. They think that they’re running against some academic liberal who wouldn’t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn’t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they’re running against some na├»ve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson. But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there’s Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who’d throw you under the truck for votes. This guy is the whole Chicago package: an idealistic, lakefront liberal fronting a sharp-elbowed machine operator. He’s the only politician of our lifetime who is underestimated because he’s too intelligent. He speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside."
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This is the clearest and most accurate assessment of who Barack Obama is that I have ever read.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Australians more obese than Americans, study finds


Australians more obese than Americans, study finds: "Australia has a higher proportion of obese people than the United States, with the health system facing a 'fat bomb' unless action is taken, a study warned Thursday.

The report from the Baker Heart Institute found that 70 percent of men and 60 percent of women aged 45-65 had a body mass index of 25 or more, meaning they were overweight or obese."

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Yet another sign that the US is slipping from its world leadership role. Come on, people. Let's get back in first place. The 4th of July is coming up, and this is a great opportunity to make some progress. Let's have everybody commit to eating an extra couple of brats for Uncle Sam. As you can see from the photo, Michael Moore is doing his part.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What the Gay Brain Looks Like - TIME

What the Gay Brain Looks Like - TIME: "Scientists at the Karolinska Institute studied brain scans of 90 gay and straight men and women, and found that the size of the two symmetrical halves of the brains of gay men more closely resembled those of straight women than they did straight men."
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If this line of research holds up, it suggests that people are not gay by choice but because they were born that way. How will that influence the course of public debate over same-sex marriage?

7online.com: Windshields smashed by bricks in NJ 6/17/08


7online.com: Windshields smashed by bricks in NJ 6/17/08: "Police say someone is taking aim at cars with large bricks.

It has happened at least 18 times in the past few week along Route 22 in Hillside, Union County.

It is a new twist on an old and dangerous prank: Throwing rocks at unsuspecting drivers. In the past, the rocks would be tossed from an overpass. But in this case, detectives believe they are being thrown from an oncoming car and that broken pavers or bricks are being tossed."

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Isn't it about time we joined the rest of the world and banned the private possession of bricks?

Barack Obama: The Amazing Nonexistent Record

Barack Obama: The Undistinguished Gentleman [Karl]
This is a devastating analysis of Barack Obama's "accomplishments."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No wonder so many people wanted the Democratic nomination


18% - Satisfaction Falls to New Low - Yahoo! News: "Just 18% of Americans now say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today -- a new low in 20 years of Pew Research Center polling -- while the percent dissatisfied has risen to 76% today, also a record high."

Leftist love humanity--but not all those YUCKY PEOPLE!


Don't listen to the liberals - Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows | Mail Online: "George Orwell once wrote that politics was closely related to social identity. 'One sometimes gets the impression,' he wrote in The Road To Wigan Pier, 'that the mere words socialism and communism draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, nature-cure quack, pacifist and feminist in England'.

Orwell was making an observation. But today a whole body of academic research shows he was correct: your politics influence the manner in which you live your life. And the news is not so good for those on the political Left.

There is plenty of data that shows that Right-wingers are happier, more generous to charities, less likely to commit suicide - and even hug their children more than those on the Left."

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Be Afraid. Be very afraid.


David S. Broder - Perot, Back On the Charts - washingtonpost.com: "Sixteen years after he shook up American politics by launching an impromptu campaign for president, Ross Perot is about to dip a toe back into the public debates. And, yes, he's bringing his charts with him to make his point.

Beginning today, people who go to http://www.perotcharts.com will find the Dallas billionaire waiting to challenge them on one of his favorite subjects -- the 'ruin' he says America is courting with its spendthrift ways."

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There is only one good thing about this. He is the only potential president whose ears can compare with those of Barack Obama. It can't be a coincidence that as soon as lunatic Texan Ron Paul drops out, another lunatic Texan springs from his lair and demands our attention.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Creative Litigation Department...

Estate owners sue Greenpeace for prediction - Expatica: "MADRID - A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia's premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet.

The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs plan to present unless Greenpeace agrees to an out of court settlement of almost EUR 30 million in damages, comes more than six months after La Manga featured prominently in a photo book published by the environmental organisation that was intended to shock Spain into action on climate change."

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So the politics of creating alarm by exaggeration may have legal consequences? Interesting theory.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Security scans will show sex organs and other private-type stuff

Security scans will show sex organs | NEWS.com.au: "SECURITY scanners that can see through passengers' clothing and reveal details such as their sex organs, colostomy bags and breast size, are being installed in 10 US airports."
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This is in the "Too Much Information" category.

This is inconceivable...


Lesbos islanders want to stop homosexual women calling themselves Lesbians - Telegraph
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And this isn't from The Onion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Who dropped the ball? - Las Vegas Sun

Who dropped the ball? - Las Vegas Sun: "Banks and other mortgage lenders are turning out to be lousy neighbors. Foreclosed homes featuring brown lawns and fetid swimming pools litter the Las Vegas Valley because the lenders that hold title have failed to keep the properties up.

The epidemic is especially acute in neighborhoods regulated by homeowners associations, whose rules require property owners to maintain their properties. Enforcement of those rules is another matter, however."
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Thanks to Monica Caruso and Fred Pilot, who both sent me this link. Hold onto your hats, because this is going to be a long and bumpy ride.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

When does he do his farewell tour in the US?


President George Bush begins farewell tour of Europe

Hillary concedes...sort of

Obama's associations may haunt bid


The Washington Times Obama's associations may haunt bid
Yes, indeed. Especially Tony Rezko, who by election day might be singing like Pavarotti for the feds.

Myth of heterosexual AIDS epidemic debunked?

World Health Organization Admits Threat of Global AIDS Epidemic Is Over - Health News | Current Health News | Medical News: "The head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department has officially admitted for the first time that there will be no global epidemic of the disease among the heterosexual population outside Africa, The Independent reported.

Kevin de Cock said global prevention strategies to address AIDS as a risk to all populations, among the WHO and major AIDS organizations, may have been misdirected. It is now recognized that, with the exception of sub-Saharan African, it is confined to high-risk groups.

These groups include men who have sex with other men, drug users who inject with needles, and sex workers and their clients, The Independent reported."

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The myth of an impending AIDS epidemic in the heterosexual population has been used to support funding for AIDS research by the US government. The idea was to convince people that everybody was at risk--not just the people do engage in certain practices that carry a high risk of AIDS transmission.

There has never been good evidence that AIDS was a serious health risk to the general population. The only surprise here is that WHO is finally admitting it.

Will this admission undermine support for funding AIDS research?

Irony Express, now leaving the station...

Obama’s slave-owning forebears revealed - Times Online: "According to the genealogists, George Washington Overall, Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather, owned two slaves, a 15-year-old girl and 25-year-old man, who were listed in the 1850 Kentucky census. Another maternal ancestor owned two older slaves."
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Does this saddle Obama with ancestral guilt and white privilege?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is the DC checkpoint plan unconstitutional?

Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy - - He says:

"It turns out that there's a fairly specific Fourth Amendment law of automobile checkpoints, and that we can look to those cases to see how the DC law fits in. My bottom line: I think the DC checkpoint plan is pretty clearly unconstitutional."

Body scanners at airports


USATODAY.com: "BALTIMORE — Body-scanning machines that show images of people underneath their clothing are being installed in 10 of the nation's busiest airports in one of the biggest public uses of security devices that reveal intimate body parts. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently started using body scans on randomly chosen passengers in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Denver, Albuquerque and at New York's Kennedy airport. Airports in Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and Miami will be added this month. Reagan National Airport in Washington starts using a body scanner today. A total of 38 machines will be in use within weeks."
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I guess these toys should keep the TSA employees amused while they do their Christmas shopping by seizing people's nail clippers.

$45 trillion needed to combat warming - Yahoo! News

$45 trillion needed to combat warming - Yahoo! News: "TOKYO - The world needs to invest $45 trillion in energy in coming decades, build some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expand wind power in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday."
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What a relief. I thought it was going to be expensive.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

DA: Sen. Marzilli ‘out of control’ - BostonHerald.com

DA: Sen. Marzilli ‘out of control’ - BostonHerald.com: "LOWELL - A second woman came forward this morning claiming state Sen. James Marzilli accosted her in downtown Lowell as new details emerged about what a prosecutor called “out of control” behavior by the Arlington Democrat. The veteran politician, 50, claimed he was Martin Walsh when he was grabbed by cops yesterday, the name of his colleague in the House."
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How could he think he could get away with this sort of thing? He may be a Democrat from Massachusetts, but he isn't a Kennedy.

Swedish government- Elvis no name for a girl


The Local - Elvis no name for a girl: "'It is the National Tax Board's view that Elvis is a first name of a masculine type and as such may, in light of standard practice, be considered clearly inappropriate as a first name for a woman.'"
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Must be fun to live in Sweden. You have to ask the government for permission to name your own child. Maybe they agree with Hillary Clinton that there is no such thing as somebody else's child.

Not so fast...


Text of Clinton's speech Tuesday - Los Angeles Times: "Now, the question is: Where do we go from here? And given how far we've come and where we need to go as a party, it's a question I don't take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight. But this has always been your campaign. So, to the 18 million people who voted for me, and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you'll go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can. And in the coming days, I'll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way."
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That is not a concession speech, even though the primary season is now OVER and she is in SECOND PLACE and Obama has enough pledged delegates and committed superdelegates to win on the first ballot. That's why Obama gave a victory speech, as anybody would who stood in his position after the primaries are OVER.

So apparently a graceful exit is not in the cards. I predicted months ago that she would take this to the convention. For anybody else that would be a remarkable thing, but not for Hillary Clinton. And at the same time she is angling to be Obama's VP choice. I wonder if she is bargaining with him, as in, "Pick me for VP, or I will drag you through a convention that will make Chicago 1968 look like a day at Chuckie Cheese."

New Hints Seen That Red Wine May Slow Aging - NYTimes.com


New Hints Seen That Red Wine May Slow Aging - NYTimes.com: "The Wisconsin scientists used a dose on mice equivalent to just 35 bottles a day. But red wine contains many other resveratrol-like compounds that may also be beneficial. Taking these into account, as well as mice’s higher metabolic rate, a mere four, five-ounce glasses of wine “starts getting close” to the amount of resveratrol they found effective, Dr. Weindruch said."
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If I drank four glasses of wine every day I would be either drunk or hung over all the time. But heavy drinking seemed to work for Charles Bukowski, my favorite poet (seen at left with friend consuming anti-aging medicine). He was closer to the 35 bottles per day range, though.

Catholic Church finally reacts to Pfleger

cbs2chicago.com - George Temporarily Removes Pfleger From St. Sabina: "CHICAGO (CBS) ― CBS 2 News has learned that Francis Cardinal George is temporarily removing Father Michael Pfleger from his position as pastor of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the move comes after several days of deliberation and consultation by the Cardinal, who first learned about Pfleger's racially charged comments about senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from the pulpit of Trinity Unity Church of Christ last Thursday night.

The Cardinal immediately contacted Pfleger who agreed not to refer to the presidential candidates by name, but as CBS 2 reported at the time, there remained the possibility of some further disciplinary action against Pfleger."

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Pfleger has been a leftist loose cannon and shameless media hound for years and seems to delight in this sort of controversy. For example, Pfleger says he is the only priest in the nation who has endorsed a candidate, which is prohibited by church rules (according to Pfleger in the Sun-Times). He did it anyway. I read yesterday that he has been warned about his behavior numerous times. He is supposedly agonizing over this latest incident and says he thought his mockery of Clinton would never be heard outside Obama's church (excuse me--former church), adding dishonesty to his pre-existing narcissism.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Richard Cohen - A Campaign to Hate - washingtonpost.com

Richard Cohen - A Campaign to Hate - washingtonpost.com: "I acknowledge that some people can find nonracial reasons to vote against Obama -- his youth, his inexperience, his uber-liberalism and, of course, his willingness to abide his minister's admiration for a racist demagogue (Louis Farrakhan) until it was way, way too late. But for too many people, Obama is first and foremost a black man and is rejected for that reason alone. This is very sad."
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This lefty columnist seems to have decided that Obama is toast and has gotten in first with a post-mortem. Can we at least have a campaign first, Mr. Cohen?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Obama needs to cool the jets on his friends


Investor's Business Daily -- No End Of Bile From Obama's Bully Pulpits: "In April 2004, Sen. Obama told a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times that he had three spiritual mentors or counselors: Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks and Father Michael Pfleger."
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Here is yet another connection between Obama and somebody with inflammatory views on US race relations and politics in general. If Obama has this ability to heal racial and political divisions that he claims, if he is a walking, talking bridge over troubled waters, why hasn't he gotten around to Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, Bill Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn, and his own wife? Talk about a group of people who could use a chill pill. I wonder what it's like when the Obamas have a cocktail party. Decaf all around, people.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Your tax dollars being saved!


FOXNews.com - Illinois to Save Money by Leaving Roadkill on Roadside
CARBONDALE, Ill. — The view along Illinois highways this summer should be beautiful — for the turkey vultures.

The state's transportation department says it won't be picking up as much roadkill left along roads because it spent too much of its budget during the winter.

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Harold Ickes' parting shot suggests more Democratic turmoil : Top of the Ticket : Los Angeles Times

Harold Ickes' parting shot suggests more Democratic turmoil : Top of the Ticket : Los Angeles Times: "'Mrs. Clinton has instructed me to reserve her rights to take this to the credentials committee,' Harold Ickes said."
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Translation: "Hillary Clinton reserves the right to deny Obama the usual coronation ceremony that would bolster his campaign. She wants a divisive convention, because she would rather see Obama lose the general election so she can run again in four years.
Love and Kisses,
Hillary"