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What NASA Says Is Really Happening to the Arctic Ice Cap

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Perfectly Natural

Many global warming activists point to changes in the arctic icecap as proof of the dangerous effects of man-made global warming. Now a report from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says those changes are in fact the result of natural ocean circulation patterns. A team of scientists used satellite and deep-sea pressure gauge data to monitor ocean patterns.

Says team leader James Morison of the University of Washington's Polar Science Center — "Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming."

Frequent Flier

You would think a retired general who fought in two wars — has four medals for valor plus the army's top medal for service — and has a top-secret security clearance — would not have much trouble getting on a commercial airliner.

But a Denver TV station reports Major General Vernon Lewis Jr. has been delayed more than 40 times because he shares a name with a suspected terrorist on the TSA's no-fly list. General Lewis has tried to resolve the matter by going through his congressional representatives and taking part in the TSA's Traveler Redress Program. He was even sent a letter last year saying he had been cleared off the list. But the next time he flew — he was stopped again.

Says the general — "My credentials are impeccable. It burns me up to be treated like a terrorist."

Driving Ambition

We have told you lately about now-abandoned efforts by New York's governor to get driver's licenses for illegal aliens — and in fact eight states already have similar programs.

But The Arizona Republic reports that in the country supplying the most immigrants to the U.S. — Mexico — there is absolutely no question — if you are not in the county legally — you cannot get a license. All 31 Mexican states — and Mexico City — require federal voter registration cards, residency papers — or at the very least — valid tourist visas.

Yet the Mexican government has been highly critical of U.S. efforts to keep licenses out of the hands of illegals here. Says New York Republican Congressman Peter King — "the fact that all 31 states in Mexico would have such a common sense position... shows to me a certain hypocrisy on the part of the Mexican government."

Watch Your Language

And the men who will play Santa Claus this Christmas in Sydney, Australia have been told to avoid the traditional "ho ho ho" greeting — because it may be offensive to women. The Daily Telegraph reports they have been instructed to say "Ha ha ha" instead.

One disgruntled Santa says a recruitment firm told him to dump the "ho ho ho" because it was too close to the American slang term for a prostitute. A children's advocate tells the paper that little children won't make that connection. And a representative of the recruiting firm says they have not banned "ho ho ho" — but are leaving it up to the discretion of the Santas themselves.

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