Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The chairman and founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has apologized for an article in the forum's official magazine calling for the boycott of Israel. The article, by American academic Mazin Qumsiyeh urged civil society "to boycott Israel until it ends its apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians"... and called Zionism "chauvinistic, ethnocentric...[and] nationalistic."
Davos Director Klaus Schwab said he was "shocked" to read the article, calling it "an unacceptable failure in the editorial process." He also said the sentiments expressed in the article are "totally in contradiction" to "the forum, its mission and values."
The White House insists that its program to eavesdrop without warrants on overseas terrorists calling the U.S. does not permit listening to calls between people inside the United States. The Los Angeles Times didn't mention that distinction in its latest poll, asking people what they thought the president's authorization of "electronic surveillance to monitor phone calls and e-mails within the U.S." Even though that is more intrusive than what the administration says it is doing, 49 percent still said they found the program acceptable. What's more, 51 percent said they would give up some civil liberties in exchange for safety from terrorism compared to 40 percent who said it was more important to protect civil liberties.
Just for Show?
Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy threatened to hold up confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's over documents relating to Alito's ties to the controversial conservative group Concerned Alumni of Princeton, warning Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter that he would call "votes of this committee again and again and again" to subpoena the records from the Library of Congress.
But when the library willingly provided access after a single phone call during the committee's lunch break, Kennedy seemed to lose interest. At 2:30, just after lunch, Chairman Specter dispatched six attorneys including senior committee staff to examine the records, while Kennedy sent two interns who didn't go until three hours later. Specter calls Kennedy's hearing-room antics "a clumsy ambush."
An Italian atheist has sued a priest in the small town of Viterbo, Italy, claiming the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2000 years by arguing that Jesus Christ was a real person. Plaintiff Luigi Cascioli says father Enrico Righi broke anti-fraud laws against "abusing popular belief" by defending Christ's existence and accuses the church of inventing a historical Jesus for financial gain.
Cascioli admits he has little hope for success in Catholicism's spiritual homeland, but his attorney says evidence of Christ's existence deserves a hearing in court.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report
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.