Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Tearing Up

Saddam Hussein nearly began to cry when the FBI agent who had been interrogating him in prison for nearly a year said goodbye.

A book by journalist Ronald Kessler called "The Terrorist Watch" reveals that special agent George Piro built a rapport with Hussein by treating him respectfully and making sure his needs were met. Piro was able to get Hussein to confess to the gassing of Kurdish civilians and the slaughter of thousands of other Iraqis.

Piro says that before 9/11 Hussein believed U.N. sanctions on Iraq would go away — and he would then be able to make a nuclear bomb. And Hussein promoted the idea that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to keep Iran at bay.

Who's the Boss?

Planted questions apparently are not the only way the Hillary Clinton campaign has sought to influence media coverage. Michael Crowley writes in The New Republic magazine that the Clinton campaign uses frequent rebukes, late-night complaint phone calls and the withholding of access as tools to control reporters.

Crowley writes — "Even seasoned political journalists describe reporting on Hillary as a torturous experience... Privately, they recount excruciating battles to secure basic facts. Innocent queries are met with deep suspicion. Only surgically precise questioning yields relevant answers.

"Despite all the grumbling, however, the press has showered Hillary with strikingly positive coverage. 'It's one of the few times I've seen journalists respect someone for beating the hell out of them,' says a veteran Democratic media operative."

Ethics Probe

One of the Senate's most liberal members finds herself in hot water with — of all people — major gay rights groups — over the Larry Craig case.

The Hill reports California Democrat Barbara Boxer — who heads the ethics committee — is being pressured to drop the investigation into Craig's airport restroom arrest. Craig was accused of soliciting gay sex — pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct — then reneged on a promise to resign.

Gay leaders say the ethics probe is a witch hunt motivated by the homophobia of Republican Senate leaders.

Rich Man, Poor Man

The oft-heard dictum that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer — doesn't hold up in the harsh light of U.S. government statistics. The Treasury Department's new study on income mobility from 1996 to 2005 reveals that the median incomes of taxpayers who started out in the bottom 20 percent increased more than the incomes of those initially in higher groups.

In fact — the median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent. But the incomes of those in the top one-100th of one percent declined over the 10 year period.

And only 25 percent of the people who were in that elite group in 1996 — were still there in 2005. Meanwhile, roughly half of taxpayers who were in the bottom 20 percent in 1996 moved up to a higher income group within 10 years.

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