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Bailing Sod

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been complaining all week - including in person to President Obama on Tuesday - about the Democratic leadership's proposed trillion-dollar economic bailout package, including one notion of funding contraceptives, regardless of a taxpayers' position on birth control.

That said, House Republicans have sent Inside the Beltway a grievance list of questionable funding projects contained in the proposed legislation, including the following eye-openers: $650 million for digital-TV coupons, $600 million for a new car fleet for Uncle Sam, $44 million to renovate the Agriculture Department's headquarters, and $21 million to replace sod on the Mall, which was heavily damaged during Mr. Obama's inauguration.

(At least with these earmarks, unlike the rest of the proposed package, Congress would know for certain where the money was going).


The Libertarian Party says it takes him at his word and now Capitol Hill lawmakers should follow suit by giving every taxpayer a "Tim Geithner tax break" by simplifying the Internal Revenue Code.

"Congress should make sure what happened to Mr. Geithner, a finance professional, won't continue to happen to millions of average folks," says Libertarian National Committee chairman Bill Redpath. "If the man running the IRS can't understand the tax code with a computer helping him, how can the average taxpayer hope to do his taxes without breaking the law?"

Mr. Geithner, anointed Treasury secretary this week by a forgiving Congress, claimed an honest error had caused him not to pay certain required taxes.


"A California man - mom! Not a man!"

-CNN Headline News anchor Chuck Roberts, who couldn't help but chuckle at his slip-of-the-tongue when announcing Tuesday that a woman on the West Coast had given birth to an astonishing eight babies, only the world's second live-born set of octuplets.


Former NASA scientist Roy W. Spencer has just posted on his Web site a list of Al Gore's "Ten Propaganda Techniques" he says are used by the former vice president's network of "global-warming alarmists" who insult and attack "anyone who might disagree with them."

Among the techniques: "Appeal to Fear: Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population: 'I want to testify today about what I believe is a planetary emergency - a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth.' (Mr. Gore's testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, March 21, 2007)."

Mr. Gore is set to testify today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - "if the cold and snowy weather doesn't cause them to reschedule," Mr. Spencer, a climatologist, noted Tuesday.


MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews will be keynote speaker at the 2009 Diabetes Forum March 3-4 at Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

A Type 2 diabetic, Mr. Matthews just over a year ago told the American Diabetes Association (ADA) magazine Diabetes Forecast that he was "basically ignoring" his condition until "big" meals and lack of exercise caught up with the popular TV host and landed him in the hospital.

He quickly took control of his health and lost 30 pounds.

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