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Special Report

Democrats' Plan to Save the Government Billions on Drug Costs May Not Hold Up

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Nixing Negotiations?

The Congressional Budget Office says the Democrats' plan to have the government negotiate Medicare prescription drug prices would not produce the billions of dollars in savings they have promised.

A letter from CBS director Peter Orszag to Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus says the Democratic plan, "would have a negligible effect on federal spending." It says the government would not have more leverage than private health plans do now — and says those health care providers are already successfully negotiating deals on the prices of prescription drugs.

PBS Politics

The producer of a documentary on how moderate Muslims in America struggle against extremism says his film was dropped from a public television series for political reasons.

Martyn Burke says executives at PBS and its Washington station excluded the documentary titled "Islam Versus Islamists" — after he refused to fire two co-producers affiliated with a conservative think thank.

One of those co-producers says public broadcasting officials feared the program would "demonize Islam" and promote public fear of Islamic organizations. Producers of the series say Burke's film wasn't finished in time and still needs work, but could be broadcast later.

Not Practicing What They Preach?

Some of the stars of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts to help save the planet from climate change are being accused of hypocrisy for leading environmentally unfriendly lives.

The Daily Mail reports Madonna — who will sing at the show in Wembly, England — used private jets and commercial airlines to fly a 100-person entourage on a 56 date world tour — and owns a fleet of gas-guzzling cars.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, also scheduled to play in London, reportedly produced 220 tons of carbon dioxide with their private jets during six months of their last world tour — about 22 times what the average person produces in a year.

Too Little Too Late?

Some scholars and political experts are criticizing Barack Obama for his response to the Don Imus comments about members of the Rutgers women's basketball team. Obama didn't respond to the controversy until Monday night — when he called the comments "divisive, hurtful and offensive."

Princeton University professor Melissa Harris Lacewell tells the Boston Globe Obama missed an opportunity to prove himself to blacks and white liberals — instead letting Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson take the lead.

She says: "His unwillingness to touch it tells me race is going to be his third rail. Black people want to believe Barack is better than this. But they will turn on him."

And a professor at the University of Maryland says Obama wanted to avoid being depicted as a "race leader" and maintain his appeal to what he called "the broad electorate."

Praise Bad Behavior?

A government study in England says kids who act up in school should not only not be punished — they should be praised and rewarded.

London's Telegraph newspaper says the education department document urges schools to adopt a more positive approach and use a system of rewards in order to encourage troublemakers to behave. Teachers who want tougher punishment for violent students are alarmed at this — and union officials say its members should refuse to teach bad kids.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.