Blog Posts by William Holt

  • Mark Sanford casts House votes in a blazer and gym shorts

    A schedule change for the House’s Wednesday evening votes took Rep. Mark Sanford by surprise, Roll Call reports.

    When the votes were moved up an hour from when they were initially scheduled, the sweat-drenched South Carolina Republican showed up in the Speaker’s Lobby in a T-shirt, gym shorts and running shoes.

    Asked by Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill whether he had thought he had enough time for exercise before having to report to the chamber, Sanford gave the gossip blog his driest response: “That’s an accurate assessment.”

    During the proceedings, the newly minted representative and former South Carolina governor lingered in the hallway, donning a blazer borrowed from an aide and rushing into the chamber only when he had to cast his votes.

    “This is the best thing I’ve ever seen,” said fellow Republican Florida Rep. Trey Radel, greatly amused by the scene. “And I’ve only been here six months."

    Radel also suggested that Sanford tug down his shorts to make them look like pants, a

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  • Iodized salt made Americans smarter: Study

    Iodine appears to have made Americans smarter, the Daily Mail reports.

    While the addition of iodine to salt originally was intended to eliminate goiters caused by iodine deficiencies, it appears to have had an unexpected consequence: Americans gained up to 15 IQ points after iodized salt became mandatory in 1924, a new study finds.

    The National Bureau of Economic Research recently published a report by economists James Freyer, Dimitra Politi and David Weil that looked at intelligence data from roughly 2 million World War II enlistees born between 1921 and 1927.

    The study, which compares the IQ levels of recruits born before 1924 with those born after that year, shows that those who ranked the highest were assigned to the Army Air Forces. Meanwhile, those recruits with lower IQ scores were sent to the Army ground forces.

    The economists then researched likely iodine levels in recruits’ hometowns based on the occurrence of goiters in those regions, and they discovered that recruits born in

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  • Bank mistakenly starts repossessing Ohio woman's home

    A woman from Vinton County, Ohio, wants her belongings back after a bank mistakenly began to repossess her house while she was out of town, 10TV News reports.

    After spending two weeks away, Kate Barnett returned home to find that the First National Bank of Wellston had foreclosed on her house, even though she had no affiliation with the bank.

    “They repossessed my house on accident, thinking it was the house across the street,” Barnett told 10TV News. “They told me that the GPS led them to my house. My grass hadn’t been mowed and they just assumed.”

    Barnett said her key no longer worked and she had to climb through the window to get inside, where she discovered that many of her possessions had been hauled away.

    According to Barnett, she presented the bank’s president with an $18,000 estimate to replace the lost items, but he refused to pay.

    “He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’ ” she recalled. “I did not tell them to come in my

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  • Clinton leads potential opponents in new poll

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is outdistancing Vice President Joe Biden by almost 5 to 1 in a hypothetical matchup for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll released Wednesday found.

    The poll found Clinton leading Biden by a ratio of 63-13 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Martin O'Malley of Maryland trail in single digits, while 18 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

    The same poll shows Clinton leading the current Republican front-runner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 46-41 percent among registered voters. Twelve percent of respondents were undecided.

    “Get ready for round two of Hillary Clinton as the inevitable,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement from the polling organization. “The big question is whether she runs.”

    The poll of 1,204 Americans was conducted July 15-18.

    The release of the poll coincides

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  • Howard Dean re-enacts famous scream for NYC mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio

    Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean hosted an event for New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio on Thursday, and the one-time presidential hopeful re-enacted the famous “Dean scream” that helped sink his 2004 campaign.

    “So we’re going to Brooklyn!” Dean hollered. “And then we’re going to the Bronx! And then we’re going to Manhattan and all the way to Gracie Mansion! Yeah!”

    In 2004, after disappointing results at the Iowa Democratic caucuses, Dean attempted to rouse his crestfallen supporters at a rally with a full-throated, emotional speech with Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

    "Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York," yelled Dean. "And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeah!"

    Dean himself later referred to the speech as a "crazy, red-faced

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  • 6-year-old boy swallowed by sinkhole making strong recovery

    The little boy who was swallowed up by an 11-foot-deep sand-dune sinkhole two weeks ago is making a strong recovery, CBS News reports.

    On Monday, 6-year-old Nathan Woessner took his first steps since the incident alongside his father, Greg Woessner, at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital.

    “Nathan is listed as in good condition and continues to improve,” Dr. Diana Mitchell of the University of Chicago Medicine told CBS News on Monday. She said Nathan was returning to a regular diet and could leave his room to visit the playroom.

    Nathan has made a swift recovery since he was buried in a sand dune at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, but his fate wasn’t always so certain.

    After a frantic rescue by firefighters, park officials, family and friends, Nathan was initially unresponsive. He was brought to the hospital in critical condition, where attempts to flush the sand out of his lungs fortunately proved successful.

    “We’re especially thankful for the people here,”

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  • Stop Hillary PAC prepares for 2016

    Hillary Clinton hasn’t announced whether she’ll seek the presidency in 2016, but there’s already one political action committee trying to pre-empt even the possibility of her candidacy, CNN reports.

    Stop Hillary PAC was incorporated in May and stepped into the public sphere this Monday by announcing its leadership. Ted Harvey, a Republican Colorado state senator, will spearhead the effort. Joining him will be media strategist Garrett Marquis, attorney and lobbyist Dan Backer, and political strategist Jacob Leis among others.

    According to Marquis, the group plans to release a video later this week “that will get a lot of attention.” If Clinton decides to run, the group plans “to make noise” wherever she goes, targeting the airwaves in key primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    “We’re supporting anything that is the opposite of Hillary,” Marquis told CNN. “We will play however needed, wherever Hillary is playing. If she endorses in the Virginia governor’s race, we

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  • Mexican Coca-Cola flying off shelves in Brooklyn

    Mexican Coca-Cola is all the rage in Brooklyn, DNAinfo New York reports.

    Sold in classic-looking, curvy glass bottles, Mexican Coke is sweetened with cane sugar rather than the high-fructose corn syrup pumped into the American stuff. Fans describe the taste of Mexican Coke as having a spicy and herbal note, with a flavor “hint[ing] at root beer or old-fashioned sarsaparilla candies.”

    The soda’s popularity has been on the rise for years now: the New York Times published a trend piece on the soft drink back in 2009. But this once-cult offering has now become de rigueur at countless restaurants, grocery stories, and bodegas throughout New York City and elsewhere across the country.

    Greta Dana, owner of Williamsburg’s Taco Chulo, has been serving Mexican Coke since her restaurant opened eight years ago and recently noticed an uptick in the drink’s popularity.

    “The Mexican Coke craze has been sort of recent,” Dana told DNAinfo. “But it’s definitely become more of a thing that people ask for.

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  • Landscaper saves 3-year-old who nearly drowned

    A New Hampshire landscaper is being called a hero after saving a 3-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a pool Wednesday, CBS Boston reports.

    About three and a half hours into a job in the town of Windham, Matt Pulomena heard a splash and what sounded like a woman yelling for help from the house next door.

    “I just took off and jumped the fence and ran up on their deck,” Pulomena told CBS Boston.

    When Pulomena got there, he found the woman with her son over her shoulder. Three-year-old Connor St. Laurent, who had somehow fallen into his grandparents’ pool, wasn’t breathing. Fortunately for the boy and his mother, Pulomena knew CPR from two years of firefighter training in nearby Belmont.

    “If it wasn’t for the Belmont Fire Department, I wouldn’t have known what to do,” Pulomena said. “I would have been another bystander around just looking at a lifeless child.”

    According to CBS Boston, Pulomena wants to be an EMT. While he hasn’t passed his test yet, this week has certainly given him some

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  • Prince Harry posts photo of mother and Nelson Mandela

    Prince Harry posted a photo on his Facebook page Thursday that celebrates Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday — and indirectly reminds followers of the impending birth of the royal baby in London.

    The photo shows Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, with then-President Mandela in March 1997. Diana met with Mandela in Cape Town, South Africa, only two months before her untimely death to discuss the growing threat of AIDS.

    The photo serves as a reminder that Diana would be about to become a grandmother. Diana gave birth to Harry's older brother, Prince William, 31 years ago in London's St. Mary's Hospital — the same hospital where William's wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expected to have her child any day now. Harry, 28, also was born at St. Mary's.

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