The oil lobby's shared profession
Three out of four lobbyists who represent oil and gas companies previously worked for the federal government, more than twice the usual “revolving door” rate. The industry’s lobbying roster includes 18 former members of Congress and dozens of their former aides.
The Washington Post

90 percent of Florida’s beaches are free of oil
Even though 90 percent of Florida’s beaches remain untouched by the BP oil spill, tourism throughout the state is down 25 percent or more. “When national media lumps together all four of the Gulf states,” said tourism official Kathy Torian, “that makes it look to the rest of the country as though Florida might be covered in oil.”
Los Angeles Times

Sen. Ensign's impoverished defense fund
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who is under a legal and ethics cloud as a result of an affair he had with an aide’s wife, started a legal defense fund in May to cover hundreds of thousands in legal expenses. So far, the fund has received only $10, and that contribution came from Ensign himself.

A crowd of inflatable dolls
Movie studios have started using inflatable dolls instead of paid extras for crowd scenes. Five-hundred dolls were used to simulate a crowd in a scene in Salt, Angelina Jolie’s new action movie.
The New Yorker

The U.S. at war
The U.S. has been at war for 47 of the 230 years it has existed, or 20 percent of its history.
The New York Times