Published December 05, 2006
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
West Virginia Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan — who is currently under investigation by the FBI — is in line to take over the House panel that oversees the budget of the justice department — which includes the FBI. Bloomberg reports that Mollohan's finances are being examined by the Bureau — after he reported an increase in net worth of as much as $25 million from 1999 to 2005.
Mollohan credits an inheritance and prudent real-estate investments. But the FBI has subpoenaed records from his real estate company and is looking into Mollohan's nonprofit "Vandalia Heritage Foundation."
The National Legal and Policy Center says Mollohan should be removed from the appropriations committee. The decision is up to Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and she's not commenting.
Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe — who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee — will hold a hearing Wednesday on "climate change and the media." Inhofe is an outspoken critic of those who blame humans for global warming.
A committee spokesman says the senator believes poorly conceived policy decisions can be caused by what he calls "the media's nonstop hyping of 'extreme scenarios' and dire climate predictions."
The hearing aims to "advance the interests of sound science and encourage rational policy decisions."
No Baby Jesus
The town in West Virginia that we told you about last week where their nativity scene had camels, sheep, and a Christmas star — but no baby Jesus, Mary or Joseph — has had a change of heart.
The festival of lights in Saint Albans now has a baby in its manger. Mayor Dick Callaway says he got emails from as far away as South Korea after media reports that the city was afraid of complaints by the ACLU if it had Jesus in the scene. He tells The Charleston Gazette: "I hope the issue has been put to rest. Christ has come to West Virginia."
And business is booming at "The Polonium Restaurant" in Sheffield, England — ever since the Russian spy scandal hit. The radioactive substance polonium-210 is blamed for the death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.
The Polonium Restaurant is owned by Polish native Boguslaw Sidorowicz — who tells The Sun newspaper that the person who discovered polonium was Polish — and so he took the name for his folk band almost 30 years ago — and later his restaurant.
Sidorowicz says since the spy story started he has had 728,000 hits on his Web site and been inundated with calls from around the world.
He says when he first saw the restaurant's name in the papers he thought someone had bought him an advertisement.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.