William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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JANUARY 31,  2010

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Americans consider heavy male political candidates more honest and reliable than thin ones, but thin still wins for female candidates, a study shows.  "A candidate's physical appearance plays a greater role in evaluation than we have thought in the past," Dr. Elizabeth Miller, the study's co-author, told the New York Daily News. "We assume voters only pay attention to things like issue position, but to think that they don't pay attention to physical appearance is a bit naive," added Miller, a political scientist at the University of Missouri.

The calorie gap – a new concept in politics.


JANUARY 30,  2010

BOSTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Boston researchers said they discovered family ties between President Barack Obama and newly elected Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.  The New England Historic Genealogical Society said the Democratic president's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Brown's mother, Judith Ann Rugg, are both descendants of Richard Singletary, a Massachusetts man who died in 1687 at the age of 102.

I want to be invited to that family reunion.


JANUARY 29,  2010

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentina's president thinks eating pig meat is really sexy. Many people in this beef-loving nation reacted with surprise Thursday after Cristina Fernandez promoted pork in a speech during which she not only said pork is better than Viagra, but suggested she's personally proven it.

That is not exactly outreach to the Muslim world.  Watch the fatwahs start pouring in.


JANUARY 28,  2010

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A city in Russia's south is selling its bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, as it can no longer afford the cost of repairs, Russian media reported Wednesday.  The 14-tonne, balding figure has stood upright with one arm outstretched -- one of several typical Lenin poses -- in the main square of Voronezh, some 500 km (311 miles) southwest of Moscow, for 60 years, state-run Vesti-24 television showed.  But the city-owned company responsible for his upkeep has gone bankrupt and is looking for a new owner who can afford present repairs costing 1.5 million roubles, popular daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Well, let's see.  They could ask Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and a number of prominent American "academics" for some financial help.  Ring up Bill Ayers, Obama's radical pal from Chicago.  His father was a corporation executive who probably left a bundle.


JANUARY 27,  2010

HERTFORD, England, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Bosses at a British recruitment firm said they were shocked when a government job center rejected an ad for discriminating against people who aren't "reliable."  Nicole Mamo, 48, director of Devonwood Recruitment in Hertfordshire, said she was shocked when the government-run Job Center rejected her ad for applicants who "must be very reliable and hard-working," the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.  Mamo said she called the center to find out why her advertisement was rejected.  "She said it was because they could have cases against them for discriminating against unreliable people," Mamo said.

Maybe there won't always be an England.


JANUARY 26,  2010

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An unemployed construction worker alarmed Kremlin guards when he tried to barge past them for what he said was a meeting with the Russian president to become his son-in-law, a popular daily reported on Thursday.  He was promptly informed that Dmitry Medvedev only has a single teenage son and was then taken to a psychiatric hospital on Wednesday evening, Komsomolskaya Pravda said.

At least the guy has family values.


JANUARY 25,  2010

MEMPHIS, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A Tennessee man was charged with aggravated burglary and theft after allegedly leaving his wallet on the stairwell of a home he targeted, police said.  "It's not often that an alleged criminal might leave a calling card," said Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Shular. "This one happened to have not only a name and address, but a picture I.D. of the suspect."

I think the burglar should get a suspended sentence for showing such courtesy.


JANUARY 24,  2010

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The leader of a Swedish political party has stirred up debate after being photographed with an expensive designer handbag, local media report.Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin and leaders of other political parties were featured in a group photograph, thelocal.se reported Saturday.  Sahlin is pictured with an $828 Louis Vuitton handbag, which has drawn both criticism and support from politicians and commentators, the news Web site said.

Another representative of the oppressed masses.















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