Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Shut Down Gitmo
House Democrats want to force the Pentagon to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and bring the terror suspects housed there to the U.S. The Politico newspaper reports the effort is being led by Virginia Democrat Jim Moran, who wants the 385 suspects in custody to be either released, tried or moved to military brigs along the East Coast.
Moran wants to cut funding for the facility by the end of the summer of 2008. A senior administration official responded by saying: "Where do Democrats believe we should keep Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot? Which American city will they choose to place America's most wanted terrorists?"
Back to Prison?
Federal prosecutors want to send former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry back to prison because they say he has failed to file tax returns on time for seven straight years. Barry, who is currently a D.C. city councilman, was given probation after pleading guilty in 2005 to failing to file his returns — and promised to meet the deadlines in the future.
But Barry didn't get around to filing his 2005 return until last month, and prosecutors say it's time to show that Barry is not above the law. Barry meanwhile says the feds are trying to embarrass and harass him. Barry served six months in prison after he was videotaped smoking crack during a 1990 FBI sting operation.
New Ethics Rules
New House ethics rules banning travel paid for by lobbyists — do not cover trips funded by one of Capitol Hill's most influential forces — higher education.
USA Today reports colleges, universities and higher education groups are exempted from the rules that took effect this month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office tells the paper that lawmakers wanted the exemption so they could deliver commencement speeches.
But the loophole covers all travel funded by academic interests — not just for commencements. The report says education groups spent at least 75 million on federal lobbying efforts in 2005 — and more than 900,000 on lawmaker travel since 2000. The Senate is considering an ethics rule with a similar exemption.
Not Fit to Print?
New York Times TV writer Alessandra Stanley — who is known for making some big mistakes — came up with a whopper today and got called on it. In an article aboutNBC anchor Brian Williams reporting from Baghdad, Stanley says this about ABC's Charles Gibson: " Mr. Gibson hasn't exactly overexerted himself in his new job. He covered the State of the Union address from his desk in New York, and also stayed put when tornadoes devastated Florida in early February. This week, while Mr. Williams is in Iraq, Mr. Gibson is on vacation."
ABC Senior Vice President Jeffrey Schneider responded by saying Gibson was in Washington for the State of the Union — not New York. He then listed about a dozen other places Gibson has reported from since last summer — including several sites in the Middle East. And he says, Gibson's current vacation is his first in ten months.
—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.