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Taxpayers Strike Back With 'Tea Parties'

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Police in Cincinnati say at least 4,000 people showed up Sunday for a grassroots protest of wasteful government spending in general, and President Obama's stimulus package and budget in particular.

It was one of many tea party protests around the country — inspired by the Revolutionary War era Boston Tea Party protesting British taxation. Protesters had signs reading "Give us liberty, not debt" and "Where's my bailout?"

One report states there are more than 150 tea parties scheduled across the nation in the upcoming months. The events so far have been largely ignored by the mainstream media, but several blogs are tracking them.

Noel Sheppard, associate editor for the conservative NewsBusters.org writes on the coverage so far: "Compare that to how these networks practically fell all over themselves to report war protests after the public's opinion changed concerning Iraq in late 2003."

Greetings but No Salutations

Political correctness is taking a bite out of the way European Parliament members can address each other.

The European Union is banning terms such as "Miss" and "Mrs." because they might offend female members. The guidelines are issued in a new gender-neutral language pamphlet that orders politicians to address female members by their names with no reference to marital status. Other rules insist words such as "sportsmen," "statesmen," and "man-made" are forbidden.

Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson says to The Daily Mail: "The Thought Police are now on the rampage in the European Parliament.... We have seen the EU institutions try to ban the bagpipes and dictate the shape of bananas, but now they seem determined to tell us which words we are entitled to use in our own language."

Homeless Hippo

And finally, the 2008 winner for the title "Swiss of the Year" could be thrown to the lions, literally. Farasi is a 220-pound baby hippo born in Switzerland. But the zoo isn't large enough for Farasi and his father, so he will either have to be adopted by another zoo or put to sleep and fed to the carnivores in a nearby cage, though zoo officials said the latter is unlikely.

But the popular hippo's fan base is growing — there is a "Save Farasi" group on Facebook with 15,000 members, one of whom, Jerome Lacourrege, says to The Wall Street Journal: "It was a good cause and when you're in a recession and a banking crisis, it's nice to have a hippo to care about."

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.

Bret Baier currently serves as anchor of Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier" (weeknights 6-7PM/ET), the top-rated cable news program in its timeslot. Based in Washington, D.C., he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau. Click here for more information on Bret Baier