Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Conservative French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is just back from a week in the U.S. and finds himself in trouble at home. Sarkozy talked up his friendship with America and even had his picture taken with President Bush.
But Socialist candidate Segolene Royal says her diplomatic policy, "would not consist of going and kneeling in front of George Bush" while a member of Sarkozy's own party says, "We need to distinguish between our relations with the United States, which should improve, and our relations with the Bush administration."
And Reuters reports French President Jacques Chirac was furious over Sarkozy's remarks, calling them "irresponsible" and "lamentable."
Deficit Down Revenues Up
Federal deficit projections continue to plummet as tax revenues soar. The federal government set a new record Friday for one-day tax receipts. Friday was the quarterly deadline for tax payments, and the government took in $85.8 billion — beating the previous record by almost $16 billion. Revenues are 20-percent higher than a year ago at this time.
Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Randal Quarles said the numbers provided a "continuing demonstration of the strength of the U.S. economy." And Office of Management and Budget director Rob Portman said the revenue produced by the robust economy keeps the government on pace to cut the deficit in half ahead of the president's 2009 goal.
Terror Breeding Ground?
A new report has furthered the warning that prisons in the U.S. are becoming breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists. The study by George Washington University and the University of Virginia says there are not enough adequately trained Muslim counselors available to inmates who want to learn — so extremists move in and teach a radical theology.
The report says state and local authorities are too cash-strapped to prevent this, or even keep track of it. The study cited several high-profile terrorists who became radicalized while behind bars, including British shoe bomber Richard Reid.
Big in Texas
So many government workers in Travis County, Texas are so fat that county leaders are considering paying for stomach stapling operations. The county says 300 to 400 of its 4,100 employees are morbidly obese and are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise. The operations would cost up to $20,000 each.
The county is proposing to pay for up to 15 per year for five years to see if it will actually save money on health care, absenteeism and other costs.
—FOX News Channel's 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.