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Midweek briefing ...

The Daily Caller reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to rehabilitate 26 mosques in 19 countries. Are we "winning hearts and minds," as advocates claim, or are we underwriting the headquarters for radicals to plot our demise• ... The civilian death rate in Venezuela outpaced that of Iraq by a factor exceeding three in 2009, reports The New York Times. And the government of Hugo Chavez secured a court order requiring that at least one newspaper stop publishing gruesome photos of the carnage. Ah, socialist heaven. ... Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that not raising taxes on the richest 120,000 people in this country would be akin to the federal government cutting checks averaging $3 million to each. Is Mr. Krugman so intellectually bereft that he forgets whose money this is to begin with• ... So strapped is government in Philadelphia that it's targeting bloggers for payment of the City of Brotherly Love's annual business privilege license at $300 a pop, reports Philadelphia City Paper. What's next, one tax for inhaling and a second for exhaling• ... Speaking of intemperate moves, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will, effective Jan. 1, double the annual service fee for E-ZPass transponders from $3 to $6. What's the rate of inflation again?

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