Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Feeling the Heat

Residents in the Lake Tahoe area being ravaged by that massive fire we just heard about are blaming the government and environmentalists for failing to clear dead trees — which are providing fuel for the blaze.

Angry residents jammed a school auditorium last night and complained that environmentalists had pressured the government into making the clearing and thinning of trees so difficult and full of red tape that the job didn't get done.

The Los Angeles Times reports that while more than 21,000 acres of land has been cleared, an additional 67,000 acres remains to be done.

The Sierra Club says it has advocated clearing and thinning. But a San Francisco television station reports the Sierra Club opposes a logging road near Lake Tahoe that would make the clearing easier.

One member of the South Lake Tahoe City Council says that any environmental problems created by the road would be far outweighed by the potential damage that could be caused by a catastrophic wildfire.

Endangered List

The United Nations has removed the Everglades National Park from its list of World Heritage Sites in danger — commending the U.S. for its investment of scientific and financial sources to save the site from the dangers of urban growth and pollution.

But the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports environmentalists who insist the park is still in peril are horrified at the move.

One member of the Sierra Club says the Everglades are more threatened than ever. And a woman with the Everglades Coordinating Council says of the U.S. action — "I'm speechless. I woke up in the Twilight Zone. I just hope readers don't feel the battle is won because of what the U.N. says."

Bull Market

Despite continued complaints about growth in the federal budget deficit — government figures indicate it is going down so fast that a huge bull market has developed for treasury bills.

With the deficit down — there is less need for the government to borrow money — so it is cutting back on the treasury bills.

Bloomberg News reports this has created the largest demand for them since the 9/11 terror attacks.

An unexpected surge in tax receipts may slice the deficit by 40 percent — to $150 billion this fiscal year.

Bloomberg says that through June 21, the government had collected almost $1.6 trillion in individual and corporate income taxes — an increase of 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

Quintuplets Parents

And the parents of 10-year-old quintuplets are going through a difficult divorce in Tampa, Florida.
The Saint Petersburg Times reports Jeff Nelson-Folkersen claims wife Gayle has "serious psychological control issues" — saying she imposes a strict vegan diet on the children — no meat, eggs or dairy.

And he says the mother restricts the children's visits with their paternal grandparents because they have leather furniture.

Vegan diets have been criticized as lacking in necessary vitamins and nutrients for growing children.

The divorce hearing is scheduled for next month.

—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