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Wander wandering again

Twitter exchange between Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Josh Wander, who lost last week in a landslide after spending most of the campaign in Israel, and Pittsburgh City Paper editor Chris Potter:

@votewander: "On a flight back to Moscow for work ... thank you to the 5000+ voters that [showed] faith in me. I am humbled and honored!"

@CPotterPgh: "So you're not asking for a recount?"

@votewander: "no, disappointed that you didn't run my victory pic on your front page though ... ;-("

@CPotterPgh: "I can't afford to send photographers overseas, Josh."

@votewander: "I thought for sure that the owners of your publication were in Mother Russia ..."

Chris Briem of Pitt also joined in to see if Mr. Wander had purchased a round-trip ticket, to which Mr. Wander replied: " ... as Arnold would say, 'I'll be back!' "


Still blocking votes

John Hudson in Foreign Policy: "Last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed to block the confirmation of every Obama administration appointee because the administration was preventing Benghazi survivors from testifying before Congress. Now, three Benghazi witnesses are set to testify for the first time. Their lawyer says the administration never discouraged their testimony, but Graham's office says the holds aren't going anywhere. 'Still have holds in place,' Graham's spokesman Kevin Bishop tells The Cable.

"It's unclear what further actions might change Graham's calculus ... but the South Carolina Republican maintains that the administration has prevented Benghazi witnesses from testifying before Congress, and until that changes, he'll continue to block the confirmation of top U.S. officials."


Diddling with DNA

Jim Hightower at OtherWords: "Isn't it so inspiring to see global corporate giants crush small farmers, stomp on nature, circumvent our laws by hook or crook and deceive and gouge consumers? Welcome once again to the phantasmagoric world of DNA manipulators. In particular ... 'synthetic biology.'

"Huh? Yes, that oxymoron means 'fake life.' ... It's the name of a crude and costly attempt by high-tech alchemists ... to genetically modify microorganisms to produce something wholly unnecessary: artificial flavorings and fragrances.

"One of their first 'achievements' is to use a powerful form of gene-altering technology to re-engineer yeast and make synthetic vanilla ... This corporate wizardry creates a massive threat to the livelihoods of thousands of small tropical farmers in developing nations. Madagascar, for example, one of the world's poorest countries, has 80,000 farmers whose only reliable cash crop is the vanilla bean."


Dissing Obamacare works

Fred Barnes for The Weekly Standard: "There were two discoveries in [last week's] election, one a joy to Republicans, the other a help to Democrats.

"The first is that Obamacare moves the numbers. Two weeks before the election, Republican Ken Cuccinelli declared the Virginia governor's race a referendum on Obama's health care law. Attacking Obamacare furiously, he surged. He didn't win but gained 10 percentage points or more almost overnight and came close. And he demonstrated that Obamacare is an issue with a future. Democrats are terrified.

"The second is that Republicans are as clueless as ever in combating the charge they're waging a 'war on women.' Mitt Romney failed last year to deal with it. He went limp. This year Cuccinelli did the same. He ignored the charge and paid a heavy price. Now Democrats have every reason to continue using the tactic."


Christie, crack, etc.

"The new mayor of New York City is a progressive Democrat with an African-American wife who used to be a lesbian. Or as Fox News reported, the apocalypse is upon us." -- Conan O'Brien

"Chris Christie won a second term as New Jersey governor. And in honor of his big win, I promise no more fat jokes about him tonight. But seriously, the margin of victory was so big, even he could walk through it." -- Jimmy Fallon

"The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has admitted that he smoked crack a year ago when he was in a quote, 'drunken stupor.' Geez, if that guy smokes crack when he's drunk, I'd hate to see what happens when he smokes crack." -- Jimmy Fallon

Greg Victor (

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