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Vice President Cheney vs. The New York Times

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Letter to the Editor

Vice President Cheney's office has fired off a letter to the editor of The New York Times seeking corrections to an editorial published Sunday.

The editorial accused Cheney of ordering the destruction of visitor records for the vice presidential mansion. Cheney's office cited a letter to the Secret Service requesting that all visitor logs be maintained and preserved.

And the Times wrote that Cheney holds stock options in Halliburton that have grown by millions of dollars in value because of the Iraq war. Cheney's office cited a Times article written in 2001 that said — "Mr. Cheney also gave to charity the after-tax value of his remaining Halliburton options ... three days before Mr. Cheney was sworn in as vice president."

Cheney's office says that adds up to nearly $8 million in donations since then. So far the Times has not published Cheney's letter or made the corrections.

Stronger Leaders?

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that congressional Democrats have lost almost all of a 24-point lead they held over President Bush on the question of who is the stronger leadership force.

In April it was the Democrats over the president 58 to 34. But now they hold a statistically insignificant two point lead.

Also — the Democrats' approval rating has dropped 10 points over the same period — from 54 percent to 44 percent.

End "Hysteria"

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt is calling for an end to what he calls global warming hysteria leading up to the G8 summit. "The topic is hysterical, overheated, and that is especially because of the media," he told a German newspaper.

Schmidt added there has always been climate change on earth — and says the reasons for that have been "inadequately researched for the time being." And he said that assuming global climate change can be altered by anything done at the G8 summit is — "idiotic."

Meanwhile, China says it will take economic growth over big changes to fight global warming any day. China says the consequences of inhibiting the economic growth of emerging countries would be far worse than the consequences of doing nothing to combat climate change.

Eviction Notice

And the Philadelphia City Council has voted to evict the local Boy Scouts group — known as the "Cradle of Liberty Council" — from the rent-free headquarters it has used for nearly 80 years — unless it changes its policy excluding homosexuals.

But a spokesman for the Scouts tells Cybercast News the group already adopted a non-discrimination policy that was approved by the city three years ago.

"The language of this policy was given to us directly by the city," says Kera Walter of the Cradle of Liberty Council. But the city solicitor says the policy is too vague — and he wants a new promise in writing that says gays will be welcome in scouting.

—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."