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Giant Candles

I want to tell you a short little personal story here before we move on. Over the weekend I got some new candles. I'm a big Jo Malone candle freak, and I found these once when I got dragged into a department store, long, long time ago, got dragged into a department store shopping. I even forgot what the store was.

They smell pretty good, and then I found out that they make these giant things, they call 'em luxury candles, but they have limited fragrances. The fragrances are good, but they got many more fragrances in their little, small candles. Frankly, I have large rooms in my house, and I don't want to have to buy 15 or 20 little candles to scent the whole room, and these large candles do it. So every once in a while I check the Jo Malone website to see if they've added. What I'm looking for is gardenia. I love gardenias. I love gardenia flowers.

I love the scent of gardenia. They've got 'em in these little dinky things, and they don't have them in the big ones. I check the website every now and then to see if they've added. I finally, on the website this morning, about an hour before the program, I clicked on the "contact us" button, and there was an option there, if you want to get hold of somebody to make a fragrance recommendation. I said, "Well, that's me."

So I clicked on it, and I put in the e-mail address and my name as they have it in my file. And I got instantly a reply: "Hi. I'm Beth. How can I help you?" I said, "This has gotta be a computer talking to me; nobody is going to respond this fast." So I put in a couple things, "I love the candles, I wish there was a large one, luxury candle with the gardenia scent," blah, blah. And I got some perfunctory answers like a computer would be answering. So I thought I'd throw a curveball in there and ask a specific question that the computer couldn't handle, and, lo and behold, it was answered specifically, and I thought, hmm, this is a real person.

Beth is not a computer, it's a real person. So I made the request and other things. She wrote back, "Are you a big fan of Jo Malone?" I said, "Check my file." She did, came back and said, "Well," and then she said, "I just have one question. Is this the Rush Limbaugh?" And I said, "Well, yes, indeed it is." "Well, I'm stunned." I said, "Why? Because you have mostly female customers?" She said, "No, that I'm actually talking to you," and she said she was in Virginia. The point is she's going to forward the request on to the higher-ups, which is all I wanted.

I don't know how to get hold of the grand pooh-bahs at Jo Malone. I mean, they're in London, for crying out loud. So anyway, I've been searching on the Internet for gardenia-scented -- Snerdley, do you know what's happening in the audience right now? "Limbaugh, gas prices are approaching five bucks, and you're telling us about candles?" (laughing) I know, folks. Anyway, I've been looking for large gardenia-scented candles on the Internet, and I can't find any big ones. Everybody makes these tiny little things, by tiny I mean like three inches diameter, three inches tall, and so forth. So we'll see if Beth -- she said she was a big fan, she and her father.

She was nice as she could be, said she was going to forward the request on to the grand pooh-bahs up at Jo Malone to see if I could get a gardenia -- and I'm not looking for anybody to try to find me a gardenia -- I've got it under control, that's not what this is. It was a nice chat and I started off thinking it was a computer because the responses came fast and some of the responses had clicks for various areas on the website, well, we do have a gardenia candle, go here, even though I'd said I know, but do you have big ones? Size does matter, Snerdley, especially in candles.

Well, when you have a large room, absolutely size matters. Why would want 18 little things. Well, that's about the only bright side, big carbon footprint with 18 wicks burning, that's true. But they don't last as long as the big ones do. (interruption) What do you mean, what's happened to me? Oh. Candles, kitty cats, what's happened to me? What do you think's happened -- the staff on the IFB, folks. Very sensitive? I've always been sensitive. What is this? That's why I asked her if she was stunned because a guy was asking her questions about candles.

I have always loved lots of candles in rooms scented with different fragrances, ever since I was in Pittsburgh when I moved out of my house. It's nothing new here. I've spoken of this before on the program. You people are starting to make me -- I'm talking about the staff here. What's happened to me? You guys sound like a bunch of liberals. "Limbaugh tried to soften his comments on Obama by then discussing his troubles in finding large gardenia-scented candles."


RUSH: The staff is continuing to give me grief over my confessed affection for scented candles in my home. Levin says, "What, are you going through menopause, or are you just a pyromaniac?" Ladies and gentlemen, let me just tell you: Only a man secure in his masculinity would ever admit that he loves gardenia-scented candles. This is not metrosexuality. You people are getting a little wacko. At least I didn't go to a baby shower like somebody here did!

Laura Wasser Is Returning As Britney Spears Family Law Attorney

Britney Spears, Kevin Federline in Court for Custody Hearing

LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline were in court Tuesday for a child custody hearing, with the pop star's lawyer expected to push for more custody for Spears.

Laura Wasser is returning as Spears' family law attorney, has learned. Wasser previously quit Spears' custody case, in which Spears and Federline are battling over their two young sons.

Commissioner Scott Gordon had a closed meeting Tuesday with Wasser and Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan. The case was then sworn in at 12:45 p.m. ET, at which time reporters were forced to leave the room.

Earlier at the Los Angeles County Courthouse, Spears, 26, and Federline, 30, avoided looking at each other. Spears was smiling and wearing a white shirt and white sandals. She drank water and sat quietly next to her lawyer, though at one point she walked out with her eyes watering. Federline wore a tan suit.

In May, Spears was granted expanded visitation rights to her two sons, with Federline retaining custody of 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James.

The longer visits were a "recognition of the progress that has been made, a progress in structure and stability," Kaplan said.

Federline has had full custody of his two sons with Spears since January, when police were called to Spears' home after she refused to relinquish one of the boys to a Federline bodyguard. Spears was taken by ambulance to UCLA Medical Center.

Her visitation rights were suspended at the time but gradually have been restored in recent months.

Spears and her estate have been under the conservatorship of her father for months.

Gary Glitter To Finish Album

Gary Glitter to finish album after Vietnam prison: report

HANOI (AFP) — Jailed British pop singer Gary Glitter, serving a three-year term in a Vietnamese prison for child molestation, said he would continue with his unfinished album when freed, state media said.

Glitter -- real name Paul Francis Gadd -- was sentenced in March 2006 for committing obscene acts with two girls aged 11 and 12 in the southern Vietnamese resort town of Vung Tau.

"I have an unfinished album. In jail, I have planned to finish the album after my release," Glitter, 64, was quoted as saying on the online edition of People's Police newspaper.

"I have sung rock 'n roll for 40 years. After the jail, I will continue rock 'n roll."

Glitter received a three-month term reduction in 2007 when Vietnam marked its traditional Tet lunar New Year. His official release date is set to be this coming August.

"I will contact my friends and lawyers to decide where is the best place to live, but probably Hong Kong or Singapore," the former rocker was quoted in Vietnamese in Sunday's report.

Glitter, a former "glam rocker" once famed in Britain for his flamboyant bouffant wigs and silver jumpsuits, had several hits in the 1970s including "I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am!)" and "Do You Wanna Touch Me?"

He fell from grace when a British court jailed him in 1999 for possession of child pornography. He served half a four-month term and then left Britain to live in several other countries, including Cambodia, before moving to Vietnam.

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Dave Sanov & Alison Sweeney Expecting Baby 2

Biggest Loser's Alison Sweeney Pregnant

It looks like soap star/The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney may be this year's biggest gainer. The Days Of Our Lives star spilled the beans, in front of the Loser's newest cast, that she is expecting a baby.

"She told them that, in a season all about family, hers is about to get bigger," her rep, Carrie Simons, told

This will be the second child for Alison and her husband, Dave Sanov, who have a son, Ben, 3.


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IRS Mileage Rate

IRS raises mileage deductible rate 8 cents

Increase as of July 1 is meant to help workers meet skyrocketing gas prices

Many motorists believe that every little bit counts when it comes to gasoline prices.

Recognizing the skyrocketing gas prices consumers are facing at the pumps, the Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that it is raising the standard mileage deductible rate by 8 cents to 58.5 cents a mile, a rare midyear adjustment by the federal agency.

The new optional rate goes into effect July 1 and is scheduled through the end of the year. Workers who use their vehicles for business can use the standard mileage rate or deduct their actual expenses on tax returns. The federal government and many private employers use the IRS rate when reimbursing workers who use their cars on the job.

"Anything that's going to help increase my bottom line is good news, even a small amount," said Gale McClelland, president of Home Appraisal and Inspection Services in Towson.

McClelland spends much of her day driving around Central Maryland to do real estate appraisals, sometimes up to 100 miles a day and at least 400 miles a week. Her business is already hurting from the slowdown in real estate sales, and rising gas prices have only made it tougher. She pays, on average, about $4.26 a gallon for premium gas.

The IRS traditionally sets the rate each fall for the following year, but the federal agency said it made a special adjustment to account for rising fuel costs.

The price of regular gasoline nationwide is $4.07 a gallon, up from $2.98 a year ago, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. In Maryland, it costs on average $4.05 a gallon, up from $2.96 a year ago.

"Rising gas prices are having a major impact on individual Americans," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement.

"We want the reimbursement rate to be fair to taxpayers," he said.

The last time the IRS changed the mileage rate midyear was in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina caused a temporary disruption in the gas supply. The agency increased the rate by 8 cents to 48.5 cents in September of that year, but readjusted it to 44.5 cents in 2006 when gas prices stabilized.

Besides the business mileage rate, the IRS also yesterday increased the mileage rate for deductible medical or moving expenses to 27 cents a mile, up 8 cents.

The rate for providing services for charitable organizations, which is set by Congress, remains at 14 cents a mile.

Eileen Levitt, president of The HR Team, human resources consultants in Columbia, said she plans to follow the agency's lead and increase the mileage rate from the current 50.5 cents per mile.

The new rate will help her 11 employees, who have been shying away from visiting clients because of increasing travel costs, she said.

At the same time, the mileage rate increase adds to her ever-growing costs of running a business.

"I can't nickel-and-dime my employees," Levitt said.

Some workers like Dean Morekas are deducting their actual driving expenses, such as gas and insurance, instead of taking a per-mile write-off.

Morekas, a home inspector for Land America Property Inspection Services who works mostly in the Baltimore area, said he switched from the per-mile rate because he drives about 20,000 miles a year for business.

"I'm not paying much attention to that," Morekas said of yesterday's announcement. "Obviously, gas is always part of the expense of business, but you can't be raising prices [for clients] to keep up. We're trying to still be competitive in the industry and keep rates as low as possible, but you can't make up the difference easily."

Since the IRS mileage rate is optional for employers, workers can deduct the difference on their tax returns as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, said Mark Luscombe, a principal analyst for the tax and accountant group at CCH Inc., an Illinois-based tax information provider.

But there's a catch, he said.

The total of such deductible expenses has to exceed 2 percent of adjusted gross income.

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Erin Howard : Bar Not Jail

Pennsylvania police say DUI suspect went to bar instead of jail

ERIE, Pa. — Pennsylvania state police say a woman charged in the impaired-driving death of her son went to a bar after his funeral instead of returning to jail.

A judge allowed Erin Howard, 26, of Corry, to leave the Erie County Prison for 24 hours to attend her son's funeral in Ohio, with orders to return to the lockup by 3 p.m. Saturday. Instead, police say Howard went to a bar in Hamilton, Ohio, about a kilometre from the church where the funeral for six-year-old Samuel Carpenter was held.

Howard had been jailed on charges she was driving drunk when she crashed into a creek bank, killing Samuel on June 14 - her 26th birthday.

She was arrested in Ohio Sunday after her son's father allegedly tipped off authorities to her whereabouts.

Howard is now charged with escape, in addition to involuntary manslaughter, drunken driving, child endangerment and other charges related to the crash.

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Vince McMahon : WWE Draft

It’s deja vu for Vince McMahon at WWE draft

Perhaps Vince McMahon should consider staying home the next time there is a draft on Raw. On last year’s draft episode, McMahon’s limo exploded into flames seconds after he got into it, kicking off the “Who Blew Up Vince McMahon” story line that was scrapped after a couple weeks in the wake of the Benoit tragedy.

Last night, the three-hour Raw draft special concluded with McMahon being taken out on a stretcher after part of the set collapsed on him. To show that it was “real,” Triple H, John Cena and Edge all broke character and tried to come to McMahon’s aid. When McMahon regained consciousness, he called out for “Paul,” which is his son-in-law Triple H’s real name.

The “accident” is being used as the story line reason for ending McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania. WWE announced on its Web site after the show that the weekly money giveaways have been suspended for the foreseeable future.

I suppose this is leading to another whodunit. It might end up being a good story line, but I would be more enthusiastic about it if I hadn’t seen something so similar a year ago. No matter how it turns out, it has to be better than the McMahon illegitimate child angle, right?

As for the draft, much of it was predictable, although Triple H being sent to Smackdown was a big surprise. It was no secret that WWE was going to be moving around major stars, but I never believed that Triple H would leave the flagship show. Based on what had gone on earlier in the draft, it was obvious that the final selection was going to be a huge name, but I would have bet anything at that point that it was going to be John Cena.

Hopefully, this isn’t a swerve and Triple H really is going to Smackdown. If you recall, Triple H was drafted to Smackdown in 2004, but he quickly was traded back to Raw in exchange for Booker T. and The Dudleys. Yes, Triple H was worth a multi-time world champion and one of the most decorated tag teams of all time. But I digress.

The other surprise for me was the switching of play-by-play men, as Jim Ross went to Smackdown and Michael Cole went to Raw.

Unlike past years, when ensuring that Raw remained the top brand seemed to be the priority, Raw and Smackdown benefited equally from this draft. ECW, however, once again got the short end of the stick. It lost its top two babyfaces – ECW champion Kane and CM Punk – to Raw and gained just one wrestler – Matt Hardy from Smackdown.

Before the show began, just for fun I jotted down some moves that I thought made sense. Here’s what I came up with: Raw gets Batista, MVP and CM Punk; Smackdown gets Jeff Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and Carlito; ECW gets Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry and Santino Marella. Like I said, some of the moves seemed obvious, but I’m pretty surprised that guys who clearly need a change of scenery such as MVP, Carlito and Marella are staying put.

My biggest complaint about the draft is the lack of logic regarding how the picks are decided and what happens when a champion is drafted. Last night, the winning brand of each inter-promotional match got a draft pick. But what is the wrestlers’ motivation for winning? Why would they care if their show gained a wrestler? Wouldn’t a heel especially not want more competition? For example, Edge went all out to win the battle royal so that Smackdown could gain two picks, which turned out to be Triple H and Mr. Kennedy – two guys that will likely be gunning for Edge’s world heavyweight title.

It would have made more sense if WWE had announced at the beginning of the show that the winner of each match would receive some type of bonus. That way, at least, they would have incentive for winning.

It also makes absolutely no sense that Kane, the ECW champion, is drafted to Raw and gets to take the belt with him. What exactly is he the champion of if he isn’t on ECW anymore? It’s the same thing with WWE champion Triple H going to Smackdown, which already has world heavyweight champion Edge. So, Smackdown has two world champs, Raw has the ECW champ and ECW has no champ.

I know some people will say that it’s just wrestling and that I’m over-thinking it, but this kind of stuff drives me crazy. Of course, as far as the belts are concerned, that all could be rectified Sunday at the Night of Champions pay-per-view.

Here’s a look at each of the draft selections in the order in which they occurred:

Rey Mysterio (Smackdown to Raw): It was time for Mysterio to leave Smackdown, but I thought he would have been a perfect choice for ECW. That show needs him a lot more than Raw.

Jeff Hardy (Raw to Smackdown): Raw had much more depth on top than Smackdown, so this is a great move. My first two thoughts were that a Jeff Hardy-Edge title program will be fantastic, and we’ll finally get the long-awaited Jeff Hardy-Matt Hardy feud. I had it all planned out: Jeff challenges Edge for the title, but Matt turns on his brother and costs him the belt because Jeff got the title shot that he never received.

CM Punk (ECW to Raw): It was pretty obvious that Punk had outgrown ECW, so the only question was whether he would end up on Raw or Smackdown. Hopefully, he won’t get lost in the shuffle on Raw.

Matt Hardy (Smackdown to ECW): So much for that Hardy Boyz feud. I’ve thought for a while that Matt was worthy of a bigger push, but being the leader of the “C” show wasn’t what I had in mind.

Jim Ross (Raw to Smackdown) and Michael Cole (Smackdown to Raw): I certainly have mixed feelings on this one. I think the addition of Ross certainly enhances Smackdown, and he and Foley could make a fine team. However, I think it’s a shame that Ross will no longer call the action on the “A” show, and I’ll miss the chemistry between Ross and Jerry Lawler. I think Ross will miss it too, because he’s either a great actor or he was legitimately upset after the switch was announced. I do think that Cole is underrated, although he obviously has big shoes to fill. At least it’s Cole trying to fill them and not Mike Adamle. I thought it was interesting that Foley buried his own show by saying that he wanted to work with Ross but he was hoping to do so by being drafted to Raw.

Batista (Smackdown to Raw): He had run out of fresh match-ups on Smackdown, so this one seemed like a lock.

Umaga (Raw to Smackdown): This move also seemed like a sure thing, as it had been talked about for months.

Kane (ECW to Raw): Even though Kane is ECW champion, I think he technically was on the Smackdown roster. Whatever. On Raw, Kane won’t be regarded as anything special.

Mr. Kennedy (Raw to Smackdown): Like Jeff Hardy, Kennedy will have a better opportunity to be a main-eventer on Smackdown. A Kennedy-Edge feud could be interesting, as Kennedy never did get retribution for Edge stealing his Money in the Bank title shot last year.

Triple H (Raw to Smackdown): It’s not that the move doesn’t make sense; it’s just that I never thought Triple H would leave Raw. The one person who has to be nervous about this is Edge. He’s clearly the top star on Smackdown, but that could change with Triple H in the mix.

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