Published July 30, 2008
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will block Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore energy exploration because, "I'm trying to save the planet."
David Rogers at the Politico newspaper reports that Pelosi, who initially promised an open debate, has now resorted to what he calls hard-nosed parliamentary devices to block any Republican proposals on offshore oil and gas exploration.
Rogers also calls Pelosi "Nancy the Navigator" because she says, "I have always loved longitude. I love latitude; it's in the stars. But longitude, it's about time... time and clocks and all the rest of that have always been a fascination for me."
Penning the Progress
The progress in Iraq is so undeniable that now even the Associated Press is acknowledging it. An AP dispatch Monday declared, "Organized Resistance Has All But Ceased in Iraq."
The article written by the AP's Baghdad bureau chief and its chief military reporter says insurgents no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of Iraq’s government.
It says, "The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost."
The analysis goes on to say that systematic killings in Baghdad have all but ended, violence is at a four-year low and that the combat phase of the war is ending.
It adds, "In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago."
Changing His Tune
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has changed his story and admits that FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly never received talking points from the White House.
On Friday, McClellan said on MSNBC that FOX News commentators would receive White House talking points, adding, "It was something we at the White House... were doing in getting them talking points and making sure they knew where we were coming from."
He then agreed with anchor Chris Matthews who asked, "Did people say, call Sean [Hannity], call Bill [O'Reilly], call whoever?"
But O'Reilly addressed the allegations Monday night, saying that McClellan was not telling the truth. And on O'Reilly's radio program Tuesday, McClellan said, "I messed up. I was specifically not trying to single anyone out, including you. There were people, not you, but there were people," who McClellan says received talking points.
Battle of the Bulge
The Los Angeles City Council is set to vote on a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in the neighborhood of South Los Angeles. Some city officials say the high obesity rate goes hand-in-hand with the limited restaurant options in the community. Public health records indicate 30 percent of adults in south L.A. are obese compared to just 19 percent in metropolitan Los Angeles.
City Councilman Bernard Parks says, "Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods."
Supporters of the year-long moratorium hope to attract restaurants that serve healthier food to the area. But California Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Casana says, "What's next — security guards at the door saying 'you're overweight, you can't have a cheeseburger?'"
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.