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The Thursday wrap

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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

USA Today's editorialists have sided with President Barack Obama in his refusal to negotiate spending cuts for raising the debt ceiling. Republicans who insist on such deal-making are “taking the economy hostage,” the newspaper says. Allow us to translate: USA Today favors higher and higher and higher and higher (and higher) debt to pay for more and more and more and more (and more) “progressive” spending. Talk about carrying the water for intellectual vapidity. ... Lest we forget, President Hypocrite, er, Obama, was against raising the debt limit before he was for it. It was in 2006, as a U.S. senator, when he argued that raising the debt limit was “a sign of leadership failure,” slavishly surrendering our economic future to foreign countries. Go figure. ... Further showing mastery of the fundamentals of economics — AHEM! — the Obama administration once again is considering the imposition of a per-mile driving tax to replace the federal gas tax (which, by the way, now is nearly triple Big Oil's profit per dollar of sales). The Government Accountability Office says that would raise the current 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax to an effective rate of 46 cents per gallon. Another “progressive” victory for the middle class, eh? ... And this just in! The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences says it will award a special Emmy to Lance Armstrong, the disgraced doping cyclist, for single-handedly reviving the career — at least for two nights — of long-in-the-tooth entertainer Oprah Winfrey. The special Emmy statuette's globe will be replaced with a syringe filled with self-promotion.

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