- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Senate last week was poised to approve legislation that would allow the government to regulate tobacco.

Under the legislation, the Food and Drug Administration could require larger health warnings on cigarette packs and restrict advertising of tobacco products.

The House already has passed similar legislation, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

I’ve heard that under this new legislation smoking will be restricted to a single house in the geographic center of each state. Because of recent rulings on eminent domain and recent election results, each “smokehouse” will be the home of a registered Republican.

I don’t smoke, but I don’t begrudge those who do. In fact, I kinda feel sorry for them as they huddle together outside in the snow, sleet and rain. Now that I think about it, as long as they’re out there, they might as well deliver the mail.

Some people say that the government is becoming the health police. I don’t know about that, but if they ever come after me for my bacon, they’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

•••


E! Online reported that Heidi Pratt’s family says the former star of “The Hills” was rushed to a Costa Rica hospital after nearly “dying” without food and water in a cave for three days on the reality TV show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.”

But the show’s producers say Heidi and hubby Spencer Pratt spent only 14 hours in the cave and spent much of their time there sleeping. The couple have quit the show three times in two days and have been moved to another medical facility.

Meanwhile, Rod Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, is doing very well on the show, to the dismay of some Illinois residents.

I think this show is reaaaaallllllyyy stretching the meaning of the word “celebrity.”

This is what’s known as a “high concept” show. The person who created it was high at the time of conception.

Wouldn’t you just know it that Rod Blagojevich’s wife would thrive in the jungle? Life with Rod will make you strong.

I hope the Pratts get over their illness and return to the show because I want them to be in perfect health for when they’re attacked by the cannibals.

•••


By the way, what is “The Hills?”

•••


Sarah Palin’s lawyer has blasted charges by a Huffington Post blogger that she plagiarized sections of a Newt Gingrich article in a speech to introduce Ronald Reagan’s son.

Geoffrey Dunn, who’s writing a book on Palin, said she “lifted” Gingrich’s words when she recently introduced Michael Reagan in Anchorage.

But the Alaska governor’s attorney said Palin gave proper attribution to the former House speaker in her political speech.

I heard that Palin had prepared a completely original introduction for Michael Reagan, but she nixed it at the last minute because he didn’t want to be compared to a hockey mom.

Apparently she said she had read Newt’s article in one of the many newspapers she reads every day, but she couldn’t remember which one.

Since there is no front-runner for the Republican nomination, it’s OK for the likely candidates to quote each other. That way, they all stay on the same page.

•••


There was a report last week about the U.S. Border Patrol arresting a Mexican surfer who was trying to smuggle 24 pounds of marijuana on his board along the California coast.

The 30-year-old was spotted paddling near the Mexican border and was ordered to come ashore. He threw a duffel bag into the ocean, and it later washed ashore with five bricks of marijuana worth about $74,000 inside.

I think we can all guess how he got the boogie in his boogie board.

It’s a little surprising that he could balance on his surfboard with all that pot — not because of the weight, but the buzz.

He was trying to hang 10 with a duffel bag full of pot. Now he might hang two to five, with time off for good behavior.

•••


Did you see this? Sen. Chuck Grassley chastised President Obama on Twitter, saying the president has “got nerve” to declare it’s time to deliver on health care while he is “sightseeing in Paris.”

“Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us ‘time to deliver’ on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND,” the Iowa Republican said in Twitter message. Grassley is a key player health care.

“When you are a ‘hammer’ u think evrything is NAIL I’m no NAIL,” he said in a second message, casting doubt about Obama’s call for bipartisanship on the issue.

Let the record show that Grassley is not a nail. He’s more of a soldering gun. Just don’t pull his trigger.

What was most surprising to a lot of people about Grassley’s messages is that he has a Twitter account.

You know, Obama wasn’t just sightseeing during the D-Day weekend, but he wasn’t working on health care, either. Touche, Chuck!

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and [email protected] — but only in “The Hills.”

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