Spin Control

Random digits: Facts for today

The omnibus appropriations bill for this fiscal year (which started on Oct. 1, by the way) that is moving through Congress has at least 6.631 earmarks worth $8.6 billiion, Citizens Against Government Waste says. At least because the organization hasn't located all the anonymous earmarks placed in the bill, although it knows there's at least one -- a $450 million line item for an alternative engine for the hot new jet fighter.

The average American child grows up without both biological parents around at some point. The Family Research Council says its Index of Belonging and Rejection has concluded that 45 percent of American children spend their childhood in a home with their biological mother and father there, and legally married, from birth until they leave home.

About half of U.S. residents have slow Internet speed...or none at all. The Communication Workers of America says its research indicates that 49 percent of U.S. residents don't have the minimum FCC broadband standard of 4 megabits per second download/1 megabit per second upload. The U.S. is 15th among industrialized nations as far as average Internet speed at 3 mbs (we should all hang our collective heads in shame) while South Korea is first, with 34 mps.
Washington state does a bit better than the national average, with 4.8 mps. Idaho a bit worse, with 2.6 mps

If you have more than half you holiday shopping left, you are average, according to the National Retail Federation. The average person in their survey had completed 49.5 percent of his or her shopping by the second week of December, their annual survey reports. That's up from 46.7 percent last year.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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