Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Health Care Scam
Apparently some criminals are trying to take advantage of the new health care reform law to take advantage of you.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she is warning state officials about scam artists hawking phony health insurance policies. Hustlers are apparently going door-to-door claiming there is a limited open-enrollment period to buy insurance now. Sebelius also says some people have set up 1-800 numbers to sell fake coverage.
Americans say the country should prioritize the development of energy supplies over the protection of the environment. The Gallup Organization says this is the first time energy has won out over the environment in the 10 years it has asked this question.
The numbers right now: 50-to-43 for energy development. Three years ago, the environment won by a 58-to-34 margin.
Rock Around the Clock
American Special Forces in Marjah used an unusual weapon against the Taliban: music. The London Telegraph reports heavy metal, rock, and country were blasted from powerful speakers in order to, as one officer put it, "***-off the Taliban.Taliban hate that music. Some locals complain — but it's a way to push them to choose. It's motivating Marines as well."
Among the groups on the playlist: Metallica, The Offspring, and Thin Lizzy.
But the Taliban are not alone in their disdain for the tactic. The commander of the Marines in northern Marjah said he was unaware of the psychological warfare: "It's inappropriate. I'm going to ask this to stop right now."
And $150,000 of your tax money is going to be used to build a tunnel underneath a busy Vermont road for use by salamanders in a hurry to mate. The Washington Times reports state officials have just awarded the contract for the project in the city of Monkton.
It seems thousands of salamanders cross the road every spring to get to a favored swamp for mating, and each night about half of them end up as road kill.
We're not exactly sure how the salamanders will know to use the tunnel or where it is— but the human reaction to the expenditure is known. One supporter says: "Right on. We can't brag about our wonderful forests and wildlife without doing our best to keep them healthy." While an opponent says: "I realize there are a lot of other stupid things my tax dollars go toward, but this one is near the top of the list."
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.