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Today is the birthday of Edward Rutledge, the youngest American to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was born in 1749 in Charleston, S.C., and was 26 when he put his, uh, John Hancock on the Declaration.

It’s also the birthday of Franklin Pierce, Americas 14th president, born in a proverbial log cabin in Hillsborough, N.H., in 1804.

Happy birthday too to Sen. Charles Schumer. The New York Democrat and Brooklyn native turns 58 today. And everybody compose an ode — or a haiku, maybe — to hanging chads. In a disappointment for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, the Florida Supreme Court refused to order Miami-Dade County to resume counting ballots by hand, eight years ago today.

Quotes of note

“While I acknowledge that liberals can be as loyal and steadfast as cocker spaniels, I have found it is nearly impossible to paper-train them.” — Columnist Burt Prelutsky, at

“Who will cause Obama’s first 3 a.m. phone call?” — Editorial, Real Clear Politics.

“She is the most talented public servant I have ever worked with. She is the best politician in our family.” — Former President Bill Clinton, speaking of his daughter Chelsea, to Bunte magazine.

“Gun Control is a Tight 5-Shot Group.” — Motto on new T-shirt from the

Contact Jennifer Harper at or 202/636-3085. And happy Thanksgiving.