Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
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You may have thought it was big news Tuesday when the administration reported to Congress that Iraq has made satisfactory progress on 15 of 18 political benchmarks set by the U.S.
Just last year, there was progress on only eight of those benchmarks and war critics have repeatedly cited the lack of political progress in arguing against the troop surge.
But the Media Research Center says there was not a word about the report on the "CBS Evening News," "NBC Nightly News" or ABC's "World News Tonight." The New York Times also ignored the story. The Washington Post relegated its coverage to page eight.
This is how the Associated Press began its story on the report: "No matter who is elected president in November, his foreign policy team will have to deal with... the slow pace with which the government in Baghdad operates."
Home Sweet Home
Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama received a discounted interest rate on a $1.32 million loan which he used to buy his Chicago home. The Washington Post reports that in 2005, the freshman senator secured an interest rate of 5.625 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from Northern Trust.
The Post reports that the average interest rate in Chicago at the time was closer to six percent, and that Obama may have saved more than $300 a month.
A statement from Northern Trust says Obama's deal was "consistent with Northern Trust rates at the time." Obama Spokesman Ben LaBolt says the rate was adjusted down because of a competing offer from another lender.
Making a Statement
The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a South Dakota law requiring doctors to provide pregnant women who want an abortion with a written statement that says, "Abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."
Cybercast News reports South Dakota Republican Governor Mike Rounds and Attorney General Larry Long represented the state and provided evidence that a fetus is "whole, separate, unique and living."
The court said that Planned Parenthood — which filed the suit to have the law struck down — submitted no evidence to oppose that conclusion. Pro-life organizations are praising the ruling, but Planned Parenthood says women should be able to make health care decisions "free from political interference."
Muslims in the Scottish district of Tayside are outraged by a series of postcards that have been distributed by local police.
The Daily Mail newspaper reports the cards were meant to notify locals of new telephone numbers for non-emergency phone calls. But they feature police dog-in-training, Rebel, who is a six-week-old German shepherd.
Many Muslims believe dogs are "ritually unclean." Shopkeepers are refusing to display the ad and Dundee city councilor Mohammed Asifis is calling for an investigation. Asifis says, "My concern was that it's not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards."
Tayside police say the puppy postcards were not intended to cause offense.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.