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“Tabloids on steroids is journalism today. Hard news still exists, sure, but only when domestic terrorism, huge natural disasters and decadelong kidnappings are concerned,” observes Mediate analyst Joe Concha after conducting a casual review of headlines and lead stories on MSNBC and CNN and in the New York Daily News, among other news outlets.

He mournfully notes the “media moral decline,” citing persistent sensationalized headlines and story selections.

“But if that’s what the public wants, if that’s what they’re buying, then as a business, news outlets need to heed to whims of supply and demand,” he continues. “As a wise man I worked with once said when talking about generating corporate profits, ‘We’re not here for the dental plan, now are we?’”

Mr. Concha adds, “Thus is the state of journalism today. Show me the money. It is what it is. That doesn’t mean it’ll put me in a better mood.”

GOATOPIA

Forget the dog days of August. It’s goat days of Washington. In the very near future, the historic, 207-year-old Congressional Cemetery in the nation’s capital will be neatened up by a herd of hoofed helpers. The nonprofit Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery has partnered with a herd of 100 grazing goats, who will trim the exterior perimeters of the site from Aug. 7 to 12 as an “innovative green project.”

Indeed. The goats will graze 24 hours a day for six days, scarfing up vines, poison ivy, ground cover and random debris, “all the while fertilizing the ground,” organizers say.

“The revolutionary use of eco-goats eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and prevents the invasive and often foreign species from killing large mature trees in the cemetery’s wooded area, which can fall onto the grounds as a result and damage invaluable historic headstones,” the association says.

“This is also the first time we have found a suitable partner for a project inside the Beltway,” says Brian Knox, owner and supervising forester of Maryland-based Eco-Goats, home of the herd in question.

A PHYSICIAN’S EDGE

Lest we forget, Sen. Rand Paul, like his father Ron Paul, has a healer’s calling. The son is an ophthalmologist, the father was an OB/GYN. And now, the Kentucky Republican is calling upon his medical training to enhance his legislative finesse.

“As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the vast problems facing health care in the United States. Medicare, as we know it, is broken and in desperate need of reform. It is indefinitely $43 trillion short and must be reformed now before it’s too late,” the lawmaker said upon introducing his Medicare reform plan, also known as the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act.

The bill is, incidentally, 22 pages — not 2,200 pages — long.

“My plan fixes the Medicare system and gives seniors access to the best health care plans enjoyed currently by members of Congress and does so without breaking the bank,” Mr. Paul continued. “Seniors deserve to have a world-class health care system, and U.S. taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned dollars put to better use, in a system that will not eventually bankrupt this country.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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