Wednesday, December 17, 2008



CNN - American homeowners will collectively lose more than $2 trillion in home value by the end of 2008, according to a report. The real estate Web site calculated that home values have dropped 8.4% year-over-year during the first three quarters of 2008, compared with the same period of 2007. Some 11.7 million Americans are now "underwater," owing more on their mortgage balances than their homes are worth.


Like Lincoln, Obama Will Ride the Rails To D.C. - Washington Post


- After a week of coy courtship and low-key feelers, [Caroline ] Kennedy began working the phones in earnest Monday - and signed up major Democratic fixer Josh Isay, who has deep connections to New York powerhouses Sen. Charles Schumer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Rev. Al Sharpton. . . "She had to work to undo the buzz for the last week - New Yorkers were starting to say, 'We don't know her,' 'She's got no experience,' 'She's presumptuous,'" said a top New York Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "That's why hiring Josh makes a lot of sense," the person added. "She doesn't know anybody, and he's the guy to make the introductions and guide her through the process." Hiring Isay accomplishes several goals for Kennedy. It signals her seriousness to Gov. David Paterson, who has been cool to her weeklong whisper campaign; it initiates her courtship of state power brokers who know her only through the media and the History Channel; and it "scares the s--" out of lesser-known Democrats actively pursuing the appointment, the New York Democrat said.

Political Wire - The latest Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds the state's U.S. Senators get their lowest approval ratings ever: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has a 38% approval rating while Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) is at a lackluster 47%.


NY Times - Jack Balkin of Yale and Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin debate whether marriage should be replaced with civil unions for both gay and straight couples.


Boston Globe - Police say thieves got away with more than 250,000 eggs destined for Asia from a Turner egg farm. The stolen eggs are worth about $25,000. Maine State Trooper Michael Chavez says cartons labeled in English and Chinese were taken from Quality Egg Farm of New England in two separate incidents. . . . Police throughout New England are being advised to be on the lookout for an unmarked truck hauling eggs without the proper paperwork.


Employees who can exercise at work are more productive, happy, efficient and calm, a study shows. Two hundred people took part in the Bristol University experiment to test the impact of workplace keep fit facilities like gyms or classes. Exercise reenergized staff, improved their concentration and problem solving and made them feel calmer. . . Almost half of the "Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2006" offered gym access to employees, say the latest study authors. However, their work in the Journal of Workplace Health Management, did find employees struggled to fit exercise around their work and felt guilty about being away from their desks.


Headline of the day:
U.S. anti-kidnap expert kidnapped in Mexico

Rules of thumb -
A quart jar will hold 1,000 crickets. - Jack Armstrong, president, American Cricket Growers Association



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