Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Tough Talk

You may remember our item recently about Wisconsin freshman Democratic Congressman Steve Kagen's story of his trip to the White House. Kagen told peace activists that he thanked the president and vice president for campaigning against him — told Karl Rove he had "kicked his ass" — and purposely called Laura Bush "Barbara" in order to insult the president.

The White House says the incident with Mrs. Bush never happened and called Kagen's account "ridiculous."

Kagen is now apologizing — but doesn't say whether he's sorry for telling the story — or for the actual incidents — or even if they actually occurred. He says, "I apologize for handling this situation as I did. My mishandled attempt at humor wasn't delivered or received well. It won't happen again."

Cross Removed

Many students and alumni of the college of William & Mary are upset over President Gene Nichol's decision to remove a historic cross from the school chapel. The college is the second oldest in the country, and the wren cross, as it's called, dates back to the 1930s.

But Nichol — a former ACLU chapter president — ordered the cross taken down to make the chapel more welcoming to people of different faiths.

Critics called the move an attack on Christianity and the school's religious heritage. William & Mary has a historic association with the Episcopal church and at least two bishops of Virginia have served as president.

Nichol has since relented a bit — allowing the cross to be displayed on Sundays. And he plans to call for a school-wide discussion during a speech later this week.

Straining Credibility?

Some scientists are concerned that dire predictions about the possible effects and origin of global warming are straining their credibility. University of Colorado climate scientist Kevin Vranes tells the Houston Chronicle, "some of us are wondering if we have created a monster."

Vranes says he detects tension among scientists because climate forecasting carries uncertainties that have not been fully communicated to the public.

A professor at Texas A&M University acknowledges considerable uncertainty about issues such as the melting of ice in Antarctica, saying, "we honestly don't know that much about the big ice sheets."

And an environmental scientist —also from the University of Colorado — says he was pressured to "dampen" his findings in a scientific journal in order to not encourage global warming skeptics.

Environmentalists Angry

And environmentalists are criticizing Prince Charles for reserving a 62-seat section of a jumbo jet to fly to New York with a 20-person entourage — to accept an environmental award.

They say the trip will result in the emission of 24 tons of carbon dioxide.

Joss Garman of the environmental group "Plane Stupid" accuses the prince of hypocrisy, saying "flying to an environmental award ceremony is a bit like turning up to an Oxfam award ceremony in a stretch limo." Oxfam is a group that advocates for the poor.

So the prince has responded to all this — by canceling a ski trip to Switzerland. A source says Charles wants to reduce his "carbon footprint."

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill 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