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Mark & Dave: Hales should include prayer discount with city street fees

According to a study by the Urban Institute, more than a third of Americans have large amounts of debt and unpaid bills that have been turned over to collection agencies. The collection industry now employs more than 140,000 workers. Who says President Obama didn’t create jobs?

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A restaurant in North Carolina is offering customers a 15 percent discount if they publicly pray before their meal. Of course, with 35 percent of Americans in debt collection they’re praying the credit card is approved.

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Congratulations to Gov. John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes; they’re engaged to be married. We asked our cult members to suggest gifts (we want to send them a present), and it didn’t take long for things to go sideways. A Cover Oregon gift card was the most popular suggestion. Hope we don’t have to order online.

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The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Survey has ranked the top 10 friendliest cities in America. No, Portland didn’t make it. But eight of the 10 were all in the South where people are often polite and packing a concealed weapon.

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Imagine the city’s disappointment when it learned Portland didn’t even make the top 10 list of most liberal cities in America (San Francisco was No. 1). The City By the Bay is certainly liberal, but just wait until we pass our GMO labeling bill, legalize marijuana, and build more bike lanes — no one will be able to touch us then.

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Now, if there were a list of weird cities, we’d dominate. A Salem woman performed CPR on her 3-year-old bearded dragon lizard to save it from certain death. One, we didn’t know people could own dragons and two, would you even know when it was having a heart attack? That’s an Oregon-only kind of thing.

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What’s he smoking? Mayor Charlie Hales says it’s time for highway tolls in the Portland area. Should be easy enough; most days traffic is at a standstill, so the toll taker can just walk up to your window. Our only question: If they use a barcode sticker to automatically collect the toll, where will they put it on the bicyclists?

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Soon we’ll be testing everyone for something. In Pima County, Ariz., there’s a new plan to save on health care costs. Don’t hire smokers. Potential job candidates and job seekers will be given nicotine tests. In the future, everyone will start their day peeing into a cup ... and we wonder why nobody feels like saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

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We’re as sick and tired of hearing about Obama’s “impeachment” as much as you are. Imagine our surprise when we learned congressional Democrats have mentioned it 20 times more than any Republicans on the House and Senate floors — 86-to-4 is the running tally. Imagine how angry they’d be if Hales were president. Street fees for everyone.

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City Commissioner Steve Novick blames the street fee rebellion on “an increasingly unpleasant media environment.” He’s right. Once people heard about the stupid plan, they didn’t like it and got angry. Darn media and their reporting of the facts. ...

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Pope Francis said young people need to stop wasting time on the Internet. No worries. Reading this column online surely would qualify as one of the pope’s good and fruitful actions. BTW, the pope has nine different Twitter accounts. Just saying.

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Carole Smith’s 28 percent raise at Portland Public Schools reminds us of the Billy Preston song “Nothing From Nothing.” She could have nailed down more at any number of competing districts. We’re glad she stayed for less money than she could have scored elsewhere. Now, Super Carol, show us how lucky we are.

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The water-starved city of Santa Cruz, Calif., reportedly fined a resident $3,000 for a running toilet. They’ve handed out about $345,000 in fines in just one month. They had to go on tilt when they read Portland flushed a reservoir just because someone peed in it.

Listen to Mark and Dave 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays on AM 860 KPAM. Follow them at http://www.facebook.com/themarkanddaveshow.