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Monday, November 26, 2007

News Blurbs 26NOV07

It's been a busy and interesting days for news. From a slipping Clinton campaign to another Communist nation on the brink of going down the drain, the first Monday after Thanksgiving has been a hot one.

Let's take a look through the headlines and see what's been going on today.

Trent Lott announces his resignation
Minority whip says he will leave Senate before end of the year

NBC News and news services
updated 11:12 a.m. CT, Mon., Nov. 26, 2007

Pascagoula, Mississippi - Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, announced Monday he will retire from the Senate by end of year.

"It's time for us to do something else," Lott said, speaking for himself and his wife Tricia at a news conference.

Lott, 66, said he had notified President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Sunday about his plans. Barbour, a Republican, will name someone to temporarily replace Lott.

"There are no problems. I feel fine," Lott said.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, who helped broker a bipartisan immigration bill that went down to defeat this year despite President Bush's support for it, will run to replace Lott as the Republicans' vote-counting whip, said spokesman Ryan Patmintra.

Lott described his 16 years in the House and 19 in the Senate "a wild ride - and one that I'm proud of."

He said he was leaving with "no anger, no malice."

Lott isn't the only Republican to announce his retirement. Dennis Hastert has announced his resignation, as well.

Hastert Resigns Today [David Freddoso]

I am told that former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is faxing his resignation letter to Gov. Rod Blagojevich this afternoon.

Once the resignation is official, the governor has five days to set the special election within 120 days of the resignation. Because filing deadlines and the like prevent it from being much earlier, the primary will probably be held Feb. 5, the same date as the presidential primary.

It looks as if there is going to be more than the Presidential primaries to keep a close eye on in the coming weeks. The Presidential polls are in and of themselves becoming a hotter situation, as the latest polls today show Hillary Clinton slipping behind the Republican frontrunners.

New poll shows Clinton trails top 2008 Republicans
Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:46pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election match-ups, a drop in support from this summer, according to a poll released on Monday.

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed.

Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 race, trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches.

In July, Clinton narrowly led McCain, an Arizona senator, and held a five-point lead over former New York Mayor Giuliani, a six-point lead over former Tennessee Sen. Thompson and a 10-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Romney.

She was not matched against the fast-rising Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, in the July poll.

The results come as other national polls show the race for the Democratic nomination tightening five weeks before the first contest in Iowa, which kicks off the state-by-state nomination battles in each party.

Some Democrats have expressed concerns about the former first lady's electability in a race against Republicans. The survey showed Clinton not performing as well as Obama and Edwards among independents and younger voters, pollster John Zogby said.

"The questions about her electability have always been there, but as we get close this suggests that is a problem," Zogby said.

Not good news for the Clinton camp. I would imagine that the next item wouldn't be good news to them either, if they were asked.

DPRK On The Verge Of Collapse?

Intelligence sources and other observers both here in the capital of the PRC and elsewhere in Asia are stating that they project a possible collapse of the North Korean regime within six months time.

Although there have been similar dire predictions made in the past, those analyzing the current situation point to several factors that indicate that the regime may finally be unraveling.

Recent activity by both Kim Jong-Il and other DPRK officials suggest that the Dear Leader is in the process of moving around the financial resources of Pyongyang’s international banking empire in order to make sure he is taken care of should he have to go into exile. This includes a recent visit to the United States by North Korean finance officials who were visiting to learn about the international financial circulation network.

Ostensibly, this visit was preparatory work that would allow the country to re-join the international financial system. This is the next, anticipated step for Pyongyang once the regime has negotiated its removal from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. The DPRK are also seeking an end to their being subject to the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act first imposed during the Korean War by President Harry Truman.

But, there are others who suggest that this is also part of a contingency plan in order to make Kim’s assets “portable.”

And finally, for a bit of lighter news, and because, well, I'm a guy and I find such things to be interesting (from a purely intellectual position, I assure you. Ahem), we have this bit of news from Taiwan:

Firms asks women to work in their undies

A Taiwanese lingerie company encouraged all its female office staff to go to work in their undies for the day.

The Audrey Underwear company in Taizhong city named November 21 Camisole Day to celebrate record sales.

All 500 women working in the firm's headquarters were encouraged to wear only camisoles and knickers - much to the excitement of their male colleagues.

"We have been waiting for this day all month. Today, we are super high, and don't know where to put our eyes," salesman Cai Mingda told Straits News.

More than 90% of female workers reportedly went along with the spirit of the day and worked in their underwear.

Zhang Yufeng, 32, a mother of two, admitted: "I have been on a strict diet to get ready for the day. When I was trying on my outfit at home, my husband told me I should dress like this every day."

And Liao Wenshen, 30, added: "The men were red-faced all day, and were becoming so polite to us. It's so funny!"

Huang Bihui, PR manager of the company, explained: "We introduced eight new camisoles into market and sold more than 20,000 in less than two months so we named the 21st as Camisole Day."

I wonder if Victoria's Secret is paying attention to this concept? Would "Thong Day" be going overboard?

Just a thought...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man