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Paper tigers

Everybody looks good on paper. Consider that Dover Publications is offering paper doll books of the presidential hopefuls, complete with little biographies and election night scorecards for a mere $8.

The McCain collection “includes white tie and tails, a sweater and slack combo, and more for John McCain while Cindy can be dressed in her wedding dress, full-length gown, and others.”

For the Obamas, there is “a wardrobe of authentic outfits: business suit, tuxedo, and more for Barack Obama; wedding dress, evening gown, and others for Michelle; and coats and knit shirts and shorts for the children Malia Ann and Sasha.”

View the finery at or use snail mail (Dover Publications, Mineola, NY 11501-3852).

Quotes of note

“Who is more likely to order a fruity (pink) drink? Democrats 58 percent, Republicans 34 percent.” — from a new survey of 100 Washington bartenders commissioned by Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.

“Who has the better pick-up lines? Democrats 74 percent, Republicans 14 percent.” — Ibid.

“The Democrats appear to be professional losers.” — filmmaker Michael Moore, in an op-ed at his personal blog.

“Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically. And I’m sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.” — country singer John Rich.

“It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined, and to try to further their own agendas by doing so.” — singer/daughter Roseanne Cash.

Days of yore

It was a really long hot summer on this day in 1814. As the War of 1812 dragged on, British forces under Gen. Robert Ross invaded Washington and set fire to the Capitol and the White House.

Early that morning, President James Madison had been present at the Battle of Bladensburg and actually taken command of a few American batteries, becoming the first and only president to exercise in actual battle his authority as commander in chief. The next day, Madison returned to a smoking and charred Washington and vowed to rebuild the city, according to James Hoban, the original architect of the White House, completed reconstruction of the executive mansion three years later.

Aug. 24 is also a little red around the edges, perhaps. On this day in 1954, the Communist Party was “virtually outlawed in the U.S.” after Congress passed the Communist Control Act.

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