And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:

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Dictator Deal?
Arab communities here at home and around the world are starting to believe Saddam Hussein escaped Iraq with help from none other than the U.S. government. The Detroit Free Press, the largest newspaper serving the largest Arab community in the United States, says a rumor is circulating around the world -- and is apparently widely believed --  that Saddam Hussein struck a deal with the U.S. government to escape Iraq with his life and his fortune. They see Saddam's now empty palaces as proof, saying it shows he packed up and left months ago. As for Iraqi forces not using chemical or biological weapons on coalition forces, they say it was all just part of the deal. And who knows, it may soon be an Oliver Stone movie.

Nasty Notes
If you say his name out loud, Ohio state Sen. John Carey sounds like a famous Democratic presidential contender. And that is why he's been getting all those nasty e-mails lately, blasting him for saying some three weeks ago that the United States also needs  "a regime change." The Daytona Beach News-Journal quotes an e-mail to Carey as saying, "Look at the polls, understand that we get it, you do not, and you are committing political suicide with your remarks." Of course, Ohio state Sen. Carey said nothing of the kind. That remark came from U.S. Sen. John Kerry of  Massachusetts. Sen. Carey of Ohio is a Republican.
   
Meaty Matter
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has offered to give Hamburg, N.Y., $15,000 worth of non-meat patties if it changes its name to Veggieburg. A PETA spokesman says the name Hamburg conjures up images of "unhealthy patties of ground-dead cows." The city declined to change its name from Hamburg, which has been its name since 1812 and is a matter of pride. The city claims to be the birthplace of hamburgers. Asked whether the offer was serious, the PETA spokesman said it was "serious as a heart attack."

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume