Sorry, Democrats: The political news doesn’t get any better for you, even looking ahead to the next national election, according to an Associated Press report by Charles Babington. Senate Democrats running in 2012 will be trying to hold seats in states where Republicans scored big gubernatorial and congressional victories in last week’s midterm elections—Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Virginia. President Obama’s re-election effort could be hurt in those states, all of which he carried in 2008, by those Republican governors. They can try to muck-up the president’s policy and campaign operations in their states. They also can help tilt next year’s House redistricting to the GOP’s advantage. According to Babington, Democrats must also defend Senate seats in the hotly contested swing state of Missouri and in four states where Obama has almost no chance—North Dakota, Nebraska, West Virginia and Montana.
I’ll write me a book: Former President George W. Bush has written his presidential memoir, Decision Points. Bush reveals he had “a sickening feeling” when he found that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Hey, Dubya, I bet Colin Powell felt the same, especially since he hung his reputation out to dry at the United Nations during the run-up to the U.S. invasion by arguing that Iraq did have WMD. Of course, it’s doubtful that Bush—or any other modern president—will top the greatest presidential memoirs of all, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. The Union war hero wrote his book in 1885 while broke and dying of throat cancer in order to leave his family some money. He wrote furiously and finished the book five days before he died. Through the decades, his book has drawn praise from such luminaries as Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein and former president Jimmy Carter.
That’s messed up: On the hot seat are the owners of a farm in Fulton County, Pa., where a Humane Society police officer found the carcasses of nearly 1,000 pigs on Monday, November 9. The animals had apparently been abandoned months ago to die of starvation, according to a report by Jim Tuttle at www.publicopiniononline.com. “I was horrified when I opened the door and saw what I saw,” Officer Dennis Bumbaugh told Tuttle. The farm is owned by a married couple, Daniel and Kerron Clark. The Clark’s are separated. The wife had not been to the farm since 2008, but hubby was there as recently as August. Bumbaugh said that Daniel Clark will likely be charged in the deaths pending further investigation. By the way, among the dead hogs, Bumbaugh also found what appear to be the remains of six calves, according to Tuttle.
We’re cheap, at least: Birmingham is in a faint limelight thanks to a couple of “Top 10” lists. Forbes magazine, in a new ranking, calls Birmingham the ninth most affordable city in America. Forbes ranked metro areas with 100,000 people or more using such factors as income, unemployment and housing costs. Oklahoma City was named the most affordable American city. In another ranking, MSN.com named Birmingham one of “America’s top 10 shrinking cities” a few days ago. Not good. However, according to the web site, “that doesn’t mean [the city’s] on the skids. Birmingham is still a regional banking hub and center to several large insurers, construction and engineering firms and telecommunications companies.” Birmingham, the site adds, “is consistently rated as one of America’s best places to work and earn a living, based on its competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses.”