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"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone" -- John F. Kennedy.

* The way people speak around the Great Lakes is diverging from the rest of North America. "'(T)he starkest dialect boundaries in North America are the boundaries between Detroit and Windsor and the boundaries between Buffalo' and Canada, according to Aaron Dinkin, an assistant professor of sociolinguistics at Swarthmore College.":

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2012/08/northern_cities_vowel_shift_how_americans_in_the_great_lakes_region_are_revolutionizing_english_.single.html

* The ranks of government workers continue to shrink:

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/monthly-government-employment-changes-totals.html

* Questions abound -- and answers are few -- about the impact of Michgian's recently rewritten law on building on lakefront sand dunes:

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/08/change_in_michigans_critical_d.html#incart_river_default

* "Although few parents deny their children all vaccines, studies show that a growing number in recent years have begun selectively skipping or spacing out shots, motivated by now-debunked claims about vaccines and autism or other chronic diseases." Bridge reviewed Michigan’s vaccine gap recently.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-19/schoolchildren-vaccinations/57146910/1

* Illinois will have a special legislative session to deal with public pension issues.

The Michigan Legislature has 22 scheduled session days for the rest of 2012 – or about one day out of every six.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-illinois-pension-0818-20120818,0,6881216.story

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