Inside the Beltway

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Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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“CBS likes people with charisma - like Charlie Sheen, maybe? He too is looking for work. Or someone with ‘CBS depth.’ How about Britney Spears? Or maybe someone who is sweet, perky and, oh wait a minute, you tried that already,” Mr. Bozell observes. “We urge you to postpone your decision and give us a chance to weigh in. But don’t wait too, too long. The ratings footsteps you hear are Current TV gaining.”

BURNING ISSUES

“The Central Intelligence Agencys practice of shredding and burning classified papers - often referred to in Hollywood as ‘burn after reading’ - is one of several ways the agency conserves energy, reduces its impact on the environment, and lowers costs through its sustainability efforts,” the CIA tells Inside the Beltway.

“Exhaust from the agency’s on-site incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA headquarters. In addition to saving fuel, that process reduces the amount of waste, which would otherwise be destined for landfills by nearly 1,000 tons per year.”

Who knew?

“This is a moral responsibility,” says outgoing CIA director Leon E. Panetta.

READER’S CORNER

“I have an idea. Let Simon Cowell produce a new show called ‘American Ideologies.’ Perfect. Produced by a European with a bad attitude. All the candidates can debate topics suggested by the producers. Stuff like, ‘How can we increase Medicare coverage and let someone else pay for it,’ ‘Why it’s good to overpay public sector unions,’ and my favorite, ‘Oil, we don’t need no stinking oil, and the best way to dry up our supply,’ ” says Beltway reader Chuck Morse, who says he’s not “the” Chuck Morse, a Boston-based talk-radio host.

“Oh yeah. A bonus topic worth 100 points: ‘How will Obama’s birth certificate controversy affect Will and Kate’s wedding?’ By the way, Chicago residents have an extra vote, just in case,” Mr. Morse adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 48 percent of Americans say Republicans in Congress will “do a better job” dealing with the federal budget.

• 86 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

• 36 percent overall say Democrats in Congress will do a better job.

• 73 percent of Democrats and 5 percent of Republicans agree.

• 44 percent overall prefer President Obama’s long-term plan for the federal budget deficit.

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