Those much ballyhooed public state House-Senate conference committee hearings designed to end the long budget impasse were quickly suspended last week. And, as predicted here, a whining Gov. Rendell took the talks back behind closed doors. It's another exercise in screw-the-public politics. ... Don't be fooled by all that gushing over "compromise" health-care reform legislation. National Review reminds that the latest plan "will reduce wages, limit new hires and increase prices." Dimmycrats sure have a funny definition of "reform." ... The Immigration Policy Center calls the Federation for American Immigration Reform "an anti-immigrant hate group." So what should we call IPC, an organization that refers to illegal aliens as "undocumented immigrants"• An "anti-rule-of-law hate group" strikes us as the best fit. ... University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee scholar Mark Schug says the Cash for Clunkers program is virtually useless -- except to politicians. "The biggest losers are taxpayers who are on the hook for a billion dollars spent on a program that almost certainly will have no measurable impact on the environment or increase long-term auto sales." Hey, other than that, it was a marvelous and cost-effective idea, right?