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Hillary v. Condi ... too many boys ... other items
Scripps Howard News Service


June 17, 2005

Washington - Hillary versus Condi in 2008? What's up with those red, white and blue "Condi Rice 2008 - We Have A Dream" bumper stickers?

While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sought to bury the idea that she's running, that hasn't dampened enthusiasm among Republican insiders for the idea. Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce, chair of the House Republican conference, told a Good Housekeeping magazine conference recently that moves by Democrats to put New York Sen. Hillary Clinton on the 2008 presidential ticket is prompting GOP leadership to review their political talent.

"We may see two women on the presidential ticket," she said.


Here's an explanation for the Thursday night desperation at meet bars: more boys than girls are born in the United States each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that has been the trend for the last six decades, with an average of almost 92,000 more boys than girls born each year since 1940. It adds up to an accumulated female deficit of 5.7 million over the period 1940-2002, says CDC.


Amtrak spent $162 million to run food and beverage operations on 65 passenger train routes in 2003, but the train service said it only got $83 million back in revenues, the agency's inspector general found.

Congressional critics are seizing on losses in food services as a small example of the broader problems of the troubled railway service, which wants taxpayers to provide it with a $1.8 billion subsidy in 2006.

William Crosbie, Amtrak's senior vice president for operations, concedes there have been management problems in the railroad's food operation, but said the agency only recently required cafe clerks to use cash registers instead of cardboard boxes.


The idea of a casino a cannon shot away from the battlefield at Gettysburg has preservationists and Civil War buffs in a frenzy. The National Parks Conservation Association is whipping up a letter-writing campaign to persuade pro-tourism Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell to veto the idea. But the developers note their casino-hotel would be built on a 42-acre site near a vacant strip mall, five miles from the park's boundaries.


Expect a huge fight in Congress over new proposals that would regulate credit card databank.

With public outrage over identity theft escalating, legislatures in about 20 states are considering following a California law that allows consumers to "freeze" their credit reports so no new cards or loans can be issued. Vermont's Attorney General William Sorrell, who also serves as president of the National Association of Attorneys General, says the concept gives consumers new powers to lock down their credit lines. Only the consumer can ask that their accounts be "thawed."

Retailers and the credit industry are battling the idea. It means an end to "instant credit" at car dealerships, and curtails discounts retailers give out at cash registers for customers who opt to open store credit cards. Sorrell is concerned lawmakers will listen to the complaints of the industry and pass a weak federal law that will override state laws.


Only three months ago, ornithologists thought the ivory-billed woodpecker was long extinct. But since the bird was filmed flying through Arkansas' Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has received reports of sightings "from Michigan to Maine."

Ron Rohrbaugh of the Cornell University ornithology laboratory is skeptical because the elusive woodpecker has never been known to live in Northern states. He suggested enthusiasts are confusing the ivory-billed version with the common pileated woodpecker. Rohrbaugh has established a Web site at for bird-spotters to tell the difference and report any further valid sightings.


E-mail Lance Gay at GayL(at)

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