Inexplicable 

A rule for federal lawsuits (Rule 8a) requires the initial pleading that commences the case to be "short and plain," and another (9b) requires it to be to the point, with several pages usually plenty to give the other party notice of what he's being sued for. In June, federal judge Ronald Leighton summarily tossed out the initial pleading of Washington state attorney Dean Browning Webb, whose client is suing GMAC Mortgage, because Webb had submitted 465 pages, with meticulous detail, including 37 pages quoting e-mails, and 341 pages asserting claims that freely repeated each other on points they had in common. 

Believers: Rocky Twyman of Washington, D.C., started Pray at the Pump, a brief, scattered national campaign in June to urge prayer to bring down gas prices. A colleague in St. Louis claimed his prayer sessions caused the price drop in July, pointing to his use of the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" (and his new verse, "We'll have lower gas prices").

In July, Salinas, Calif., Mayor Dennis Donohue, frustrated at this year's dramatic surge in gang violence, kicked off a campaign to urge a citywide fast, which he said was a proven technique in achieving social justice. 

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