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In today's pages: Obama in the O.C., Madonna and A-Rod at home

July 11, 2008 |  9:44 am

Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter on terrorism Chris Hedges wants to stop the new FISA, columnist Joel Stein lists the joys of $8 gas, and writer John Kenney imagines a conversation between Madonna and A-Rod:

A-ROD: ...I see that you're wearing a leather onesie. Is that comfortable?
MADONNA: Versace made it for me years ago.
A-ROD: Sometimes you sound like you have an English accent.
MADONNA: It's an affectation.
A-ROD: Yikes. Does that hurt?
MADONNA: I'm really tired.

SteinThe editorial board notes that for Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide to pay off, the housing market has to rebound, and says that squabbling over funds from a proposed sales tax hike isn't getting the county anywhere. Finally, the board wonders what led Barack Obama to reach out to Orange County:

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee gathering $2,300-a-ticket support at the once-Republican bastion where Barry Goldwater and family spent their summers? The African American candidate coming to a city where decades ago the police were known for their "NIN" stops, an acronym that referred to stopping black motorists for questioning simply because they were black and in Newport Beach?

Some observers wondered whether Obama is aware of the territory he's treading. But perhaps the candidate perceives a truth about Orange County that its outdated stereotype has obscured.

On the letters page, readers discuss Obama's $130 billion spending plan. Laguna Woods' Jim E. Davis asks, "We spend more than that $130 billion to bolster Wall Street, so why be concerned about the puny deficit that might be caused by Obama's plans to actually make jobs, expand healthcare, boost education, encourage research and end this war?"

*Cartoon by Ed Stein, Rocky Mountain News

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