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Barack Obama Champions Welfare Reform In Ad

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

For His Welfare

Barack Obama is championing welfare reform in his new television ad titled "Dignity." The ad says that Obama "passed a law to move people from welfare to work — slashed the rolls by 80 percent."

But the television spot fails to mention that Obama resisted the very welfare reform bill that led to the reduction in the caseload. Back in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a federal reform bill in an effort to make welfare what he called "a second chance, not a way of life."

But then-Illinois state Senator Obama told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper that year that Mr. Clinton's stance on welfare was "disturbing."

And on May 31, 1997 Obama said on the floor of the Illinois state Senate, "I probably would not have supported the federal legislation."

Credit Crunch

Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson of California has defaulted on two home loans and lost a third house at a foreclosure auction.

The Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, California, also reports that when she was a councilwoman in Long Beach, California, she crashed her BMW, failed to pay a repair bill and then apparently violated a local policy by racking up 30,000 miles on a city-owned vehicle in one year.

But Richardson's past financial troubles have not stopped her from sporting the most expensive car in the House of Representatives, despite her freshman status. She now drives a customized 2007 Lincoln Town Car that costs taxpayers $1,300 a month. The Daily Breeze reports that most cars leased by members of Congress cost $400 to $800 a month.

"X" Marks the Spot

Iran's state-run news agency says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the target of a what it calls a "x-ray radiation plot" during his trip to Rome last month.

Iran's Ambassador to Italy Abolfazl Zohrehvand says, "One day before Amhamdinejad's trip, I checked and found out that the security X-ray machine set up in the place where he was staying gave off excessive radiation."

The ambassador says the radiation was being controlled from somewhere else and that "the intensity of the radiation was completely felt inside the building."

Royal Wino

And finally, in an effort to reduce his impact on the environment, Great Britain's Prince Charles will now fill his car up with wine. The heir to the throne has converted his 38-year-old Aston Martin — a gift from the queen on his 21st birthday — to a vehicle capable of running on 100 percent bio-ethanol fuel distilled from surplus British wine.

The prince has promised to reduce his greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent before 2012. And while his favorite car only clocks around 300 miles a year, it averages 10 miles per gallon of gasoline. That is equivalent to four and a half bottles of wine for every mile.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy 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

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