The $3.47 billion lobbying bill
More than $3.47 billion was spent lobbying the federal government in 2009, a 5 percent increase over 2008. “Lobbying appears recession-proof,” said Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.
Heading West for happiness
Eight of the top 10 cities in a survey of Americans’ satisfaction with their lives and optimism for the future are in Western states, with Boulder, Colo., coming in first. Huntington, W.Va., was last.
Our snowy nation
Thanks to an unusual combination of weather patterns last week, 49 states were at least partially covered by snow. Hawaii was the sole exception.
Should senior year be optional?
Utah legislators, faced with a $700 million budget shortfall, are considering a proposal to make senior year of high school optional for students who complete their required credits. “The more options we give to students to accelerate,” said one state legislator, “the more beneficial it is to students and taxpayers.”
Los Angeles Times
The 'Superfresh' Mardi Gras
To reduce the smell of stale booze, vomit, urine, and garbage during Mardi Gras, a New Orleans sanitation company now sprays Bourbon Street with a solution of lemon fragrance and enzymes called “Superfresh.” “They keep it as clean as Disney World,” one bar owner said. “It’s helped out business tremendously.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The safest seats are at the back of the plane — and 5 other surprising facts about airline crashes
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
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