Published April 01, 2008
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
It appears House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has quietly shelved the proposed one-year moratorium on earmarks — those pet spending projects that lawmakers slip into legislation to benefit their home districts.
Pelosi initially supported the one-year ban on pork projects, which have cost a total of $18 billion this year alone. But now it seems Pelosi has pulled back after the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the ban last month, with leading Republicans joining Democrats in doing so.
Tuesday, Pelosi was asked about the earmark ban and said, "It's always an option. It can always be put on the table." But she indicated there is no movement on the issue and no specific plans to tackle earmarks in the near future.
The Hamas television station that airs anti-Israeli and anti-Western propaganda is doing it again.
The channel broadcasted a children's show on Sunday in which a puppet of President Bush is stabbed to death by a puppet identified as an orphaned child. The child puppet blames President Bush for killing his relatives saying, "You killed my daddy in the Iraq war. As for my mom, you and the Zionists killed her in Lebanon. You and the criminal Zionists also killed my younger and older brothers in the Gaza holocaust. I'm an orphan, you criminal."
The child then repeatedly stabs the president, who is dressed in an Army uniform and black boxing gloves. The child puppet then says the White House has been turned into "a great mosque for the nation of Islam."
University of Maryland senior research scientist John Lott Jr. says news coverage of the economy is slanted. Lott writes, "Over 78 percent more negative news stories discussed a recession when the economy — under a Republican president was soaring than occurred under a Democrat when the economy was shrinking."
Lott — who researched 12,500 newspaper and wire service articles from 1985 through 2004 — also found that Democratic presidents got positive headlines 15 percent more of the time than Republican presidents for the same economic news.
Of his findings Lott writes, "The media's focus on the negative side of everything surely helps explain people's pessimism... Indeed, research has indicated that media bias is real."
The next time you consider e-mailing your governor, consider the case of David Kearby Clements.
In September 2004, Clements e-mailed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger protesting the lack of enforcement of the state's compassionate use act — the initiative that allows the use of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. But Clements made the mistake of calling Schwarzenegger a "Nazi" and threatened to harm him.
That got the attention of the authorities who searched Clements' property in February 2005 for evidence that he, in fact, wrote the e-mail. Instead they found what has been called a trove of child pornography.
Clements was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for that offense. With regard to the governor — he was ordered not to "annoy, harass, threaten or contact" Schwarzenegger or any member of his family.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.