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Goofy Characters and Weird People -- Sounds Like a Hearing

International financial markets are in turmoil, gas is pushing $4 a gallon and a recession looms. But don't worry, folks: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is on the case.

Yesterday, in unwitting observance of April Fools' Day, the telecommunications subcommittee held a hearing on "online virtual worlds" and the use of cartoon-like characters called avatars.

"Ladies and gentlemen, in approximately 10 seconds, the Ed Markey avatar is going to gavel this hearing," the flesh-and-blood Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) announced in the panel's Rayburn hearing room. "There he is. He's done it."

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-- Dana Milbank

By Dana Milbank  | April 2, 2008; 11:41 AM ET
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