Talking Points: Taxes, texting and tweeting

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Local,Talking Points

Does the pope tweet?

Pope Benedict, 85, will begin using Twitter on Dec. 12, the Vatican announced. The pontiff's handle on the social media site will be @pontifex, Latin for "bridge-builder." The pope will answer questions about faith submitted to #askpontifex and provide 140-character summaries of his homilies, among other things. The pope's tweets, every one of which he will personally approve, will be sent out in English and seven other languages.

When did people start texting?

Texting just turned 20. The world's first text message was sent on Dec. 3, 1992. It was typed by software engineer Neil Papworth and sent to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. The text read simply, "Merry Christmas." Today, 6 billion text messages are sent every day in America alone, according to Forrester Research. That's 2.2 trillion messages a year, or about a quarter of all text messages sent every year around the world.

What is the no-tax pledge so many Republicans signed?

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge, circulated since 1986 by Americans for Tax Reform and its leader, Grover Norquist, requires all signers to oppose any and all tax increases. It's signed mainly by Republicans running for state and federal office and was signed by nearly every Republican member of Congress. Democrats charge that the pledge prevents Republicans from compromising on a deficit-reduction deal that would include raising taxes on the wealthiest earners.

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By the staff of
The Washington Examiner