Inside the Beltway: A GOP charm offensive toward the American public?

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— CNN’s “Crossfire” analyst S.E. Cupp, during a vigorous discussion about congressional Republican behavior with her fellow analyst Van Jones.

OH-H-H CANADA

Nobody has managed to rewrite, sanitize or politicize the original lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the name of political correctness. Well, not yet, anyway. This is not the case with our good neighbors to the north, however, where a group of high-powered ladies seeks to rewrite “O, Canada,” the national anthem, in more “gender neutral terms.”

Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, author Margaret Atwood and a host of former and current lawmakers and educators are troubled by the majestic lines, “O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.” Uh-oh. “Sons.” There’s the problem: the women want the final words to read “in all of us command,” claiming it’s closer to the original lyrics of yore.

“Women are still facing gender equality issues every day. Our National Anthem should reflect what women of the past fought for and like them, we should not settle for the status quo, but rather continue paving the way toward an inclusive Canada,” the ladies reason, in an online rationale of their quest.

They should remember, however, that “gender equality” has come to mean a great more these days, what with transgender folk and others a presence on the gender identity radar. Ms. Campbell and company better make room for an extra lyric.

NEW WILL AT FOX NEWS

As in George Will. The brilliantly reasonable columnist and veteran analyst has departed his perch at ABC News to join forces with the Fox News Channel to offer his observations on the network’s daytime and prime-time programming.

“His wisdom is enduring and his achievements are far too long to list,” says Michael Clemente, executive vice president of news at Fox.

Mr. Will, 72, previously served as a panelist for ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and was the Washington editor of National Review, among many other things.

USE IT OR LOSE IT

There’s collateral damage amid the stalled budget battle and the bombastic close of the fiscal year. A new University of Chicago study examining federal procurement data reveals hard economic evidence that the proverbial “use-it-or-lose-it” spending sprees in federal agencies are very real — with expenditures nearly five times higher as the fiscal year ebbs away.

“Faced with uncertainty over future spending demands, there’s an incentive to build up a rainy-day fund over the first part of the year, followed by a rush to spend it on lower-quality projects at the end of the year,” says assistant economics professor and study co-author Neale Mahoney.

“Our model confirmed three things,” Mr. Mahoney notes. “First, an organization with a fixed period in which it must spend its budget resources — like the federal government — sees a surge of spending at the end of the year. Secondly, such spending is of lower quality, and third, permitting the rollover of spending into subsequent periods leads to higher quality.”

POLL DU JOUR

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