• And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

    Minority Report

    The NAACP says new voter participation laws across the country amount to voter suppression that targets minorities.

    The civil rights group plans to bring its complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    Its 67-page study found 14 states enacted what it calls restrictive measures such as photo I.D. requirements.

    Quote -- "This assault...is comprehensive in its reach and was launched in time to affect the 2012 elections...by blocking access to people of color, the poor, the elderly and the young."

    Supporters of those laws contend they fight election fraud and suggest showing identification should not be a requirement that is hard to meet.

    Seat Assignments

    If you plan on inviting Washington journalist Bob Woodward to a dinner party along with Al Gore, just don't sit them together.

    The Hill reports Woodward joked in a recent speech that the former vice president is not a great tablemate.

    Quote -- "Sitting next to Gore is taxing. In fact, it's unpleasant."

    Woodward says he asked Gore how much the public knows about what went on during the Clinton administration. He says Gore replied, one percent.

    Woodward says -- quote -- "I kind of died inside and have to confess to having an unclean thought."

    Woodward then asked Gore, if Gore were to write a memoir, how much would Americans know then.

    Gore's response, two percent.

    Snow Cone Security

    And finally, the battle against terrorism continues in western Michigan, one snow cone at a time.

    13 counties in the region have received $900 snow cone machines courtesy of a Homeland Security grant.

    Local media reference a state document claiming the machines have a variety of uses. Among them, making ice to treat injuries and prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies and to provide snow cones during promotional events.

    One county reportedly requested a popcorn machine and was turned down in the Homeland Security grant process.