WORTH NOTING: Tough as the Wild North

 
In the musical "Guys and Dolls," New York gangsters scheme to carry on illegal gambling at a Salvation Army meeting. But in South Carolina, legislators are considering a bill allowing churches and other non-profits to host card and dice games to raise money, according to a story in The Post and Courier of Charleston. The legislation would exempt charities from a 200-year-old law that has scuttled several fundraising plans in recent years, the paper reports.

Cat got your tongue? Texas state Sen. Kirk Watson (D) is an ardent supporter of presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). But Watson blanked when asked repeatedly to list Obama's legislative accomplishments on MSNBC's "Hardball," reports The Austin American-Statesman . The following day, the Texas lawmaker issued a lengthy mea culpa on his own Web site along with a laundry list of his candidate's record.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) can handle an electric guitar, but maybe not a video game controller. The former Baltimore mayor was bested recently in an electronic bowling game played on a Nintendo Wii, The Sun of Baltimore reports . Worse, it wasn't a game-savvy adolescent who schooled the governor, but a 71-year old. After several frames, however, O'Malley did roll a strike, then promptly ended his humiliation.

Maryland lawmakers, meanwhile, are considering some very weighty matters, including a bill naming Smith Island cake the state's official dessert and another to designate walking as the official state exercise. Previous Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) had vetoed the walking bill, according to The Sun . But the measure's sponsor, Del. Bill Bronrott (D) said there was a good reason to support his bill and the dessert item at the same time: "You can have your cake and eat it too," he told his peers.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) played a lot of tough characters in movies, but Alaska's "First Dude" Todd Palin, husband of Gov. Sarah Palin (R), is the real thing. Palin crashed his snowmobile during the 2,000-mile Iron Dog race and traveled the final 400 miles with a broken arm, according to the Daily News-Miner of Fairbanks. The day after the accident, Palin (who has won the Iron Dog four times) managed to finish in fourth place, and then got a cast put on his arm.

There's a fine line between researching your political opponent and stalking. Indiana state Sen. Brent Waltz (R) thinks his primary challenger Mike Beeles has crossed it. Beeles, who has filed a formal challenge to Waltz's candidacy, charging that the incumbent does not really live where he says he does, used a step ladder to peer into Waltz's second floor windows and take photos, writes The Indianapolis Star . Waltz told the newspaper that he plans to seek a protective order against Beeles.
 
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