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Can you believe everything you hear?

Over time you hear comments and ideas that seem, well, outrageous. Here are a few comments, and some ideas of recent vintage that demonstrate that policy making in government is like sausage making…not so pretty to watch.

This week Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said the proposed Obama military budget is “Disarming America” and “Gutting our Military” among other criticisms. The proposed budget is $534 billion dollars. Last years’ budget was $513 billion. Senator, 534 is a larger number than 513. Obama increased the budget Senator.

This week the Senate (41 Republicans and 10 Democrats) generated a bill to cut estate taxes on the richest Americans. The bill would result in a reduction in tax revenue over the next decade of $91 billion. The law would affect only estates valued over $7 million per couple. Advocates noted this bill is “what struggling Americans need.” Really.

Michelle Bachmann (Rep. MN) advocates revolution against the Obama global warming plan. “I want people armed and dangerous” Bachmann said recently. She added “… a revolution every now and then is a good thing.” Bachmann also describes the U.S. Congress as the enemy, saying “I believe that my job here is to be foreign correspondent reporting from enemy lines.” Really, the U.S. Congress is your enemy Michelle?

Newt Gingrich supports regional Tea Parties, public gatherings to protest the Obama increases in federal spending.

Gingrich also supported TARP, one of the programs being criticized, and the prescription plan added to Medicare at a projected cost in the next decade of as much as a trillion dollars. Suddenly found religion Newt?

The Minnesota Senate election, five months old now, appears to be making little progress.

The recounts have consistently indicated that Al Franken, Democrat, won by a few hundred votes. But Coleman, the loser, intends to fight the results all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The strategy, supported by the national Republican Party, is to delay and deny the seat to Franken as long as possible to keep the Democratic majority in the Senate at 58 instead of 59. Must be great to be a Minnesota voter right now.

Republican ex-Senator Stevens of Alaska had charges dropped against him this week due to prosecutorial misconduct by the Bush administration Justice Department.

Apparently political appointments at all levels only resulted in incompetence at all levels in the Justice Department. Republicans now want a “do-over” Senate election in Alaska, asking the incumbent Democratic senator to resign.

Stevens says the dismissal was his “exoneration.”

Hardly, the key evidence the prosecutors withheld was that the cost of his free home re-modeling may have only been $80,000, not the reported $200,000.

Mr. Stevens, that is not exoneration. Republicans, we only have “do-over’s” in fourth grade and divorce court, not elections.

The Obama “Cap and Trade” idea is simply a tax on carbon emissions and a bad idea overall to improve the environment. At least have the dignity to call the plan what it is…a way to fund government spending and little more.

Apparently same sex marriage is going to become the law of the land.

This week the Iowa Supreme Court made it so there, and Vermont’s legislature passed their bill into law over their governor’s veto. It seems that these actions may represent a “tipping point” in same sex marriage.

American unions want the “Employee Free Choice Act” passed, but that remains doubtful.

Afghanistan is so unlike America. They pass a law that allows men to rape their wives and wonder why we object.

Is it comforting to know that the CIA had medical professionals monitoring torture?

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Tribune and a former educator at Ohio University Southern.