Published December 09, 2008
The latest pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Business and government officials in Washington say the city is not prepared to handle the record crowds expected for President-elect Obama's inauguration.
The Washington Times reports Board of Trade officials say visitors and residents should expect shortfalls in everything from bread and milk to parking for an estimated 10,000 extra buses. They said restaurants should anticipate delays in food deliveries and that Internet service will be slowed. Even cell phone reception could be hampered by overload on transmission towers.
One disaster preparedness official even advised residents to work from home on January 19th and 20th.
Between 4 million and 5 million visitors are expected during the 4-day celebration.
Viewership for President-elect Obama's weekly video addresses is declining. The Washington Times reports the first video —- which was posted on YouTube on November 15 -- drew 790,000 viewers over its first three days and is now nearing 1 million total.
The second video was viewed 451,000 times in three days. The third garnered 152,000 views. And while last weekend's fourth installment was watched 370,000 times in three days, that is still 400,000 fewer than his first.
The president-elect's YouTube channel has slipped to No. 21 in the weekly rankings. During the campaign, it regularly cracked the top ten.
Australians are being urged to eat camels and kangaroos in order to save the planet. The French Press Agency reports that a recent study found more than 1 million feral camels —- the largest wild herd on earth —- are damaging desert ecosystems and water sources down under.
Murray McGregor, co-author of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Center Report, says, "eat a camel today... it's as lean as lean, it's an excellent health food."
Officials are also continuing to urge sheep and cattle ranchers to shift to kangaroos. The Australian government says kangaroos do not emit large amounts of harmful greenhouse gases —- like livestock does —- when they pass wind.
Environmental activists in Poland called the authorities after discovering an illegal logging site in a nature reserve.
The Austrian Times reports the activists found 20 neatly stacked tree trunks and others marked for felling in the northern part of the country. But when police arrived they followed a trail where one tree had been dragged away, which led them directly to a beaver dam.
A Polish police spokesman said, "The campaigners are feeling pretty stupid. There’s nothing more natural than a beaver."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.