Flat Earth: Ronning in

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"I just couldn't stomach it," said a Democrat in the California State Assembly.

What was "it"? State welfare benefits for same-sex partners? Overtime pay for workers after an eight-hour day? Both were being considered by the legislature last week. No, it was the thought of former President Ronald Reagan beaming out from millions of California car licence plates.

The Democrat's dismay was unavailing: after the vote, Californians can shell out $50 (pounds 32) to buy plates featuring the state's former governor and two-term president in a cowboy hat. It might lack the prestige of having your face on Mount Rushmore, but the Republicans have lately been in a frenzy to name anything and everything after their beloved former leader.