Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Phantom Conversation?

A Justice Department brief filed with the Supreme Court in the case of accused terrorist Salim Hamdan, cites a conversation between two senators as evidence that Congress intended to throw out legal challenges by inmates at Guantanamo Bay. But Hamdan's lawyers say that conversation never happened.

The Washington Post reports that the official Congressional Record shows Senators Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl debating an amendment restricting the legal rights of detainees. But the contrived conversation, known as a “colloquy,” existed only in written form and was inserted into the record just before the Senate approved the measure.

A lawyer for Hamdan calls the bogus debate "outrageous," saying it "is critical to the government's legislative history argument, and it's entirely manufactured and misrepresented."

Obscene Justice?

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has accused staffers at the Boston Herald of watching "too many episodes of the ‘Sopranos,’" after a story reported Scalia flashed what they called an "obscene gesture" outside a church.

The newspaper said Scalia flicked his hand under his chin as he emerged from Mass in response to a question about whether his religious life presents a conflict of interest in cases of church and state. In a scathing letter to the editor, Scalia says the traditional Sicilian gesture means, "I couldn't care less" and accuses the paper of believing "any Sicilian gesture is obscene," especially when made by a jurist of Italian descent.

Booze and the Bomb?

And media mogul Ted Turner has ripped into President Bush, calling him a "reformed alcoholic" with "his finger on the nuclear trigger" and who "might decide to get drunk again."

Speaking at an event honoring his promotion of global understanding, the founder of CNN said the president lacks a true understanding of the world and called the war in Iraq, "a big waste of time."

— 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