Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Rice “Brush-off?”

Bob Woodward's new book "State of Denial" describes CIA officials worried that they did not get through to then-National Security Adviser Rice with an urgent warning about a possible Al Qaeda attack during a meeting two months before 9/11— saying Rice's reaction amounted to a "brush off."

Prominent Democratic member of the 9/11 Commission Richard Ben-Veniste was quoted in The New York Times Sunday as saying, "the meeting was never mentioned to us."
Not only did then-CIA Director George Tenet brief the commission about the meeting, but that Rice "understood the gravity of what he was telling them."

It is not clear whether the original Times story was mistaken, or whether Ben-Veniste's account has changed. A State Department spokesman said yesterday Rice asked that the information be given to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Return to Sender

Republicans running in tight races are scrambling to unload campaign contributions from former Florida Congressman Mark Foley — who resigned over allegations of inappropriate electronic communications with young boys.

Virginia Senator George Allen, New Mexico Representative Heather Wilson and Florida Congressman Clay Shaw are among several who say they will give the thousands of dollars they received from Foley's political action committee to charity. Representatives Deborah Pryce of Ohio and Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania say they have already returned money to Foley's PAC.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee — which has received more than a half-million dollars from Foley's PAC since 1996 — says it will keep the money.

Taliban Unbeatable?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office was not happy today about an Associated Press story that said Frist believes the Taliban can never be defeated militarily and that they should be brought into the government in Afghanistan.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi responded to the story by saying Frist wants to "coddle the Taliban... as if 9/11 never happened," and that President Bush didn't "finish the job" in Afghanistan.

Frist's office issued a statement saying Frist said Afghan tribesmen should be brought into the government or risk losing them to the Taliban. It said the senator does not believe Taliban fighters should be brought into the reconciliation process. Frist was in Afghanistan meeting with American troops and Afghan officials.

Bible Ban?

And a seventh grader in Laurel, Maryland who was threatened with discipline for reading her bible during her lunch break is taking the dispute to a higher power — Federal District Court.

The Washington Post reports a lawsuit on behalf of Amber Mangum alleges her civil rights were violated when Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School Assistant Principal Jeanetta Rainey told her that reading the bible violated school policy.

It turns out school policy says students may "read their bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray before tests."

—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