Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Prosecutors in Dover, New Hampshire say a Democratic congressional candidate faked a story about getting lost in the woods after a car crash — in order to boost his campaign and avoid an investigation by federal officials.
Gary Dodds told authorities that he wrecked his campaign car, became disoriented, wandered through the woods and across a river, then bedded down in a pile of leaves until rescue dogs found him 27 hours later. But prosecutors say Dodds altered the condition of his feet to back up his story — and that -believe it or not- is a felony.
They say the Federal Election commission was looking at Dodds' finances — and that he had taken out two mortgages to fund his campaign — without his wife's knowledge.
Dodds' lawyer says his client's injuries included severe frostbite, nerve damage and situational amnesia —- and are all documented. Of the prosecutors, Dodd's lawyer says — "Somebody has been watching too much CSI Miami."
Dodds came in third in a four-person primary last year.
Exercise in Futility
British veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan who were taking part in rehabilitation exercises in a public swimming pool in Surrey — were forced to leave after being heckled by local residents. The Daily Telegraph reports the vets were amputees — and needed to use the 25-meter pool because the one at the military hospital was not big enough.
However, two women demanded the vets be kicked out because they had not paid to swim — and had no right to close off a section of the pool. They also claimed that the vets' appearance was scaring young children. Instructors said the atmosphere became so tense that they decided to leave.
The incident has sparked widespread condemnation. One former head of the British Armed Forces says the women should be — "named and shamed."
Unsettling news for people who believe weather patterns — and global warming — can be predicted by computer models years in advance — and that climate change is fueling ever-stronger hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season ends Friday — and for the third straight year forecasters are being criticized for inaccurate pre-season predictions. They underestimated the intensity of the 2005 hurricanes — then went way over last year and missed on the high side again this year.
The Miami Herald reports former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield says, "The seasonal hurricane forecasters certainly have a lot of explaining to do."
Many researchers are concerned that substantial errors in the pre-season predictions are undermining the public's faith in the real-time forecasting made as the storms are actually unfolding. One former NOAA hurricane researcher says the pre-season forecasters — "have no skill in making predictions that far in advance."
And while Iran has resisted allowing independent monitors to observe its own elections — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has offered up himself — as an independent observer of next year's presidential election — here in the U.S. But The Guardian newspaper reports Ahmadinejad may not fully understand that President Bush — whom he has called 'the devil' — is not running this time.
Ahmadinejad said — "If the White House officials allow us to be present as an observer in their presidential election we will see whether people in their country are going to vote for them again or not."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.