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Petitions to the White House

WASHINGTON (AP) – No, the U.S. will not be building a Death Star. And no, President Obama isn’t deporting CNN’s Piers Morgan or letting Texas secede.

These are just a few of the wacky notions the White House has had to address as part of its effort to promote open government.

Now the Obama administration is upping the threshold for an official response, from 25,000 signatures to 100,000. It’s a reminder that government by the people can sometimes have unintended consequences.

Some of the petitions address serious issues, like judicial reform and gay rights. Others are sillier, like banning baseball bats or giving Vice President Joe Biden a reality TV show.

The White House says the program has attracted tremendous interest and gives Obama a chance to engage Americans on important issues.

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