Published December 21, 2007
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
More than 400 scientists are challenging claims by Al gore and the United Nations about the threat from man-made global warming.
A report by Republican James Inhofe of the Senate Environment Committee lists among the skeptics many current or former members of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
One Dutch scientist says — "I find the Doomsday picture Al Gore is painting — a six-meter sea level rise, 15 times the IPCC number — entirely without merit."
French climatologist Marcel Leroo says — "Day after day the same mantra — that 'the Earth is warming up' — is churned out ... Without realizing it, or perhaps without wishing to, the average citizen is bamboozled, lobotomized, lulled into mindless acceptance."
The report contends many skeptical scientists keep silent because of fears of retribution.
A spokeswoman for Al Gore tells The Washington Times that 25 or 30 of the 400 scientists may have received funding from Exxon Mobil Corporation — an allegation that an Exxon Mobil spokesman dismissed.
Called on the Carpet
Newsweek magazine is taking Hillary Clinton to task for what it says is a misleading campaign ad. Senator Clinton claims members of the National Guard and military reserve did not have health insurance until she and a Republican colleague took action.
Newsweek says — "We find the ad misleading. In fact, active-duty Guard and Reserve troops already were covered by federal insurance, and four out of five non-active-duty guardsmen and reservists already were covered by their civilian employers or other sources... It's just wrong to say the National Guard and Reserve didn't have health insurance, because the large majority did."
The Clinton camp responded by saying the senator is proud that her bipartisan effort has given every member of the guard and reserve access to health care.
Some members of the Democratic Party base are coming down hard on their congressional leadership for breaking campaign promises and caving in to the Republicans.
The Washington Times reports an official with the American Civil Liberties Union accuses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of shrinking from fights over electronic eavesdropping, torture and Guantanamo Bay — "They were too ready to capitulate in anticipation of a fight. The expectation was that they would try just a bit harder."
And this from Greenpeace — "On the basis of getting things done, it's pretty hard to suggest that they have been a big success."
CODEPINK and other anti-war activists are calling for Reid and Pelosi to be ousted from their leadership roles.
And it appears that two members of the Senate Judiciary are ready for some football — and some answers from the National Football League.
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking member Arlen Specter have sent a letter to the NFL threatening to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption — if it does not make games carried by the NFL network available to more viewers.
The channel is carrying eight games this season — but it is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes. The league is feuding with cable companies that refuse to carry the NFL network as part of their basic package.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.