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The Thursday wrap

A better solution :The banking lobby is arguing that a proposed cut in the fee banks charge retailers for each swipe of a debit card -- from an average of 44 cents per transaction to 12 cents -- will leave them unable to afford to issue debit cards or force them to raise other fees to cover the loss, reports The New York Times. Using cash should solve that problem, eh?

Climate fraud: A federal government inspector general "has revealed prima facie proof that the so-called independent inquiries widely if implausibly described as clearing the ClimateGate principals of wrongdoing were, in fact, whitewashes," writes Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the Daily Caller. One of those "studies" was conducted by Penn State. He says the university may have been "complicit" in a "cover-up." Stay tuned.

Gas taxes: The spike in gasoline prices has sparked the usual cries about Big Oil "gouging" the public, never mind supply and demand, never mind the "futures" market. But you're not hearing a whole lot about the real gouging that's going on -- in the form of federal and state taxes on gasoline. Combined, they exceed the total increases over the last month or so. And don't blame "speculation," which actually helps to ensure steady supplies. But do blame, in part, government "speculators," so to speak.

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