A man who led the campaign to reinstate Pluto as a planet has a new cause: the recall of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D). Corzine apparently angered former Glen Ridge mayor Carl Bergmanson with his municipal aid cuts, leading to the attack, according to The (Newark) Star-Ledger . But Corzine probably shouldn't worry. Pluto remains in its downgraded "dwarf planet" status despite the best efforts of Bergmanson, whose biggest success was declaring March 13, 2007, "Planet Pluto Day in the Borough of Glen Ridge." One small step for Pluto, one giant leap for dwarf planets everywhere.
Just how bad is California's budget crisis? A pretty big deal based on the governor's perspective. Citing an "old Jewish saying," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) compared the state's problems to a phrase associated with the Holocaust. "You know, the old Jewish saying - never again," the Sacramento Bee reports. "Let's make this the year where we say 'never again' because we can solve the problem," he said.
What do a Klingon warrior, former president Rutherford B. Hayes and radio DJ Wolfman Jack have in common? They all apparently resemble New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson with a beard, according to the buzz from political pundits on TV and in print, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports . The beard, which Richardson grew after he dropped his run for the Democratic presidential nomination in January, re-emerged in the national spotlight this week when he endorsed Barack Obama. Other comparisons included a James Bond villain and a character from Doctor Zhivago. But Richardson told the newspaper, "I think I like the Justin Timberlake reference by Diane Sawyer the best."
It wasn't exactly one of New Hampshire's more stellar political careers. After 16 months of "serving" in the state Legislature, state Rep. Michael R. DesRoches (D) announced his resignation, saying he was evicted from the district he was elected in. DesRoches might have also mentioned his high absentee rate: He didn't cast a single vote, and some legislators haven't seen him since the 2006 swearing-in ceremony. He told the Manchester Union Leader he was "kind of talked into" running, and that he didn't actually expect to win, although both his primary and general election were contested.
A problem gambler cashed in all his chips - unintentionally - by getting himself shut out from more gaming tables than he intended. The Delaware man, identified in news reports as S.D., asked the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to ban him for life from Atlantic City casinos, according to The Star-Ledger . But he later realized the ban included some 60 affiliated casinos in other states. Now S.D. wants his name off the list, but a state appeals court sided with the commission's decision to leave him on. He's in the company of mobsters and criminals who are also on the roster of banned players. But while they can petition to get their gambling rights back, S.D., who asked for the lifetime ban, can't.