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It seems to us . . . Thinking about words in Washington and comments about shots and beers

SHELL GAME: President Obama's gratitude for the way Congress avoided loading the $787 billion stimulus package with "earmarks" for favored pork 'n projects sounded good on Tuesday.

The very next day, Congress passed an Omnibus Appropriations Bill -- a package of the nine separate government spending bills it couldn't pass in the waning days of the Bush administration -- that included 8,575 earmarks totaling some $7 billion.

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COST-SAVINGS: Speaking of the pseudo-State of the Union, here's a suggestion on how Congress could help the budget: Sell at least half of the springs in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's chair. She's obviously able to launch herself upward without their help, and she didn't spend enough time sitting down to notice any difference.

We're used to congresspersons giving standing ovations to every presidential paragraph when their party's in the White House, but Pelosi was launching on just about every presidential sentence clause. Maybe they could just sell the entire chair.

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BAD IDEA: As planning for Pakistan goes, this strikes us as a less-than-optimal development for both Islamabad and the United States: This week, border province authorities decided to equip villagers in areas rife with al-Qaida and the Taliban with 30,000 rifles. The idea is to form a militia. Seems to us they could save time by just shipping the armaments to the Taliban.

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GOOD IDEA: Here's to the folks at KPS Capital Partners of New York City, for their stated intention of keeping Labatt USA in Buffalo.

Labatt has been a good corporate citizen, with pond hockey tournament sponsorship as Exhibit A. The Canadian brand's U.S. operation isn't a huge one, but it's a neat bit of local cachet and losing it would have made us cry in our beer. If we had any beer.

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