Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Show Me the Money?
Some House Democrats have a new plan to force an end to the Iraq war: raising taxes.
Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, Pennsylvania's John Murtha and Massachusetts' Jim McGovern have unveiled a surtax — or extra charge — on taxes owed by Americans to help cover the cost of the war. It would impose a 2 percent fee on taxes of low-income earners and escalate to as much as 15 percent on high-income earners. It would be designed to raise up to $15 billion a year.
Obey says the proposal's main purpose is to generate additional opposition to the war, saying, "If you don't like the tax — shut down the war." Obey says the only families sacrificing now are military families.
Republicans pounced on the tax proposal and House and Senate Democratic leaders were distinctly cool to it, suggesting it will not get very far.
Federal records indicate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has received about $30,000 from devotees of a man who was run out of Arkansas when Bill Clinton was governor after being accused of operating a $30 million pyramid scheme.
The New York Post reports Keith Raniere has reinvented himself as head of an executive training company called NXIVM located in Albany, New York. Raniere's group includes many high-profile individuals, including heiresses to the Seagram Company. Their father calls Raniere's group a cult.
The Clinton campaign has not commented directly on Raniere or his organization. A newspaper in Albany reports Raniere's followers have also given around $30,000 to the state Republican senate campaign committee and provided a similar amount in air transportation.
A Montana rancher whose employees killed two wolves as a last resort to protect his cattle herd is being charged with violating the Endangered Species Act.
Cybercast News reports the rancher had tried other methods — such as fences and extra ranch hands — but after losing several animals to wolves, he took a more aggressive approach. But one wolf pup was shot accidentally and another became trapped under an all-terrain vehicle and was shot — resulting in the charge.
A spokesman with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the law allows ranchers to shoot wolves in the act of harming livestock, but also authorizes "shoot on sight" permits if there are chronic problems.
One critic of the Endangered Species Act says the regulations push ranchers to adopt a policy called "shoot, shovel and shut up."
A decision by a suburban Chicago school district to stop the celebration of traditional holidays such as Halloween and Christmas in order to avoid offending Muslims, has even some Muslim parents upset.
A Chicago TV station reports officials in Oak Lawn, Illinois say children will celebrate "Fall Festival" instead of Halloween and "Winter Festival" instead of Christmas. This comes after one Muslim parent complained that Ramadan decorations he had wanted in an elementary school were taken down. Said another Muslim parent about the new ban on holidays, "to take away Halloween and Christmas from little kids, that is very wrong."
The school board is set to meet Tuesday night and the holiday issue is expected to be discussed.
— 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.