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Lawmakers' Minds Made Up Before Gen. Petraeus' Testimony?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Congressional Predisposition?

Some House Democrats may have had their minds made up before General David Petraeus gave his thoughts on Iraq Monday on Capitol Hill.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos told Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, "We and the American people already know that the situation in Iraq is grim and the growing majority of this Congress and of the American people want our troops out." And he made clear nothing Petraeus could say would change his mind.

Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to the Petraeus-Crocker report as "The Bush Report."

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the White House had "cherry picked" the data from Iraq in order to reinforce its position.

Going too Far?

Republicans are upset over the MoveOn.org ad calling the U.S. commander in Iraq "General Betray-Us."

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called the ad "outrageous and deplorable."
She cited an article in Friday's Politico newspaper that contained a quote from an anonymous Democratic senator: "No one wants to call (Petraeus) a liar on national TV. The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us."

Journalism 101

The Army major who conducted the investigation into a soldier's allegations of cruel and callous behavior by some of his colleagues, says he found no evidence that the New Republic magazine did any fact-checking prior to publication.

Pajamas Media quotes Major John Cross as saying he also did not interview anyone who corroborated the stories written by Private Scott Beauchamp, who said soldiers wore the skulls of murdered Iraqis, mocked a burn victim and used Bradley Fighting Vehicles to run down animals. Beauchamp later recanted.

Cross also says that Beauchamp violated operational security rules by posting unit deployment dates on his personal blog.

Food Fight

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is taking on Al Gore… over his diet.

The Daily Telegraph reports protesters will display billboards during a Gore event in Denver next month. They will show Gore with a drumstick and the words, "Too chicken to go vegetarian? Meat is the No. 1 cause of global warming."

PETA cites United Nations research that says the meat industry is worse for the environment than flying or driving. Says a PETA spokesman, "for Al Gore, the fact that his diet is a leading contributor to global warming is a highly inconvenient truth — pun intended."

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.