What Your Tax Dollars Are Buying

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Earmark Nation

Two Republican congressmen are doing their best to slaughter what they call the 11 most wasteful pork barrel projects of the current session.

Georgia's Tom Price and Mark Kirk of Illinois say the projects contribute to the country's deficit. Examples include nearly $4 million for an urban art trail in Rochester, New York. In that same state, $3 million for an 88-year-old boat in a museum. And $3 million for new bicycle racks here in Washington. The list goes on to include fish food, incentives to grow mushrooms and renovations to a vacant building.

But Kirk, who is a candidate for President Obama's old Senate seat, secured more than $30 million two years ago for 19 of his own pet projects. He said on December 10, 2009 at a presser on Capitol Hill: "I think every member of Congress when they first come to Washington wants to fight for their district... but over time I realized that to get funding for your own projects you have to support projects like this."

All About the Numbers

We told you Wednesday about Al Gore's claim that those Climate-gate e-mails, which some experts say impugn global warming science, are dated, even though the most-recent was sent just last month. It turns out those aren't the only numbers the former vice president is having trouble with.

During a Nov. 12, 2009 appearance on "The Tonight Show," Gore had this to say about the Earth's core temperature: "Two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, because the interior of the Earth is extremely hot — several million degrees — and the crust of the Earth is hot."

But that is more like the temperature of the sun. The scientific consensus is that the Earth's core is several thousand degrees at its hottest.

Former NASA scientist Roy Spencer tells Fox: "If the Earth's temperature two kilometers down was 'several million degrees', we would be toast. I hope Al Gore's other climate statistics aren't off by a factor of a thousand, also."

Word Games

Washington wordsmiths have a new choice verb: to "Salahi." The term is derived from the now infamous White House party crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

Politico quotes blogger Andrea Rodgers from askmissa.com who says it means, "to audaciously gatecrash a 'secure' event."

One usage example from the Urban Dictionary is: "I can't believe she didn't invite me to her party after five years of friendship! I'm going to Salahi it. That'll show her."

Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe Kenworthy contributed to this report.

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