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“I look forward to hearing from voters across the country as we seek to give voice to the concerns, priorities, and values of the American people. This process is about more than writing; it is about listening. Voters deserve a party who listens to them,” responds Mr. McDonnell.

SHIVER ME TIMBERS

“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found. Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers and anthropologists.”

(An official statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency on Tuesday, responding to public questions regarding Animal Planet’s docu-drama, “Mermaids: The Body Found”).

POLL DU JOUR

• 160 million Americans will celebrate July 4th with a cookout or picnic.

• 115 million will attend a local fireworks display or community celebration.

• 48 million will purchase patriotic merchandise; 35 million will attend a parade.

• $302.7 million: Dollar value of American flags, banners and similar emblems manufactured annually in the U.S.

• $223.6 million: Amount spent annually in the U.S. on fireworks imported from China.

• $32.40: Average amount spent on July 4th cookout food items to feed 10 people.

• 35: Number of American towns or cities containing the word “eagle”; 11 contain the word “independence”; 9 contain the word “freedom.”

• $1.7 billion: amount Americans spend on hot dogs annually.

• Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York, Baltimore/Washington and Chicago are the nation’s top hot dog-consuming cities.

(Sources: Data released for July 4, 2012, by the U.S. Census Department., the National Retail Federation, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Indiana Farm Bureau)

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