Obama Takes Heat for Inaugural Speaker

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Published December 22, 2008

| FoxNews.com

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Frank Assessment

Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts is upset with President-elect Obama's selection of the prominent Evangelical Minister Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation. The first openly-gay member of Congress said on Sunday's "Late Edition" on CNN: "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair... I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect."

Last week Mr. Obama defended his decision after some in the gay community expressed outrage. He said Americans need to come together and that he was invited to speak at Warren's church despite a difference of opinion on the issue of gay marriage. Warren meanwhile applauded the president-elect saying, "I commend... his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base."

No Regrets

Despite writing a letter of apology to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush during that news conference earlier this month says he is not actually sorry. Muntadhar al-Zeidi's brother Uday al-Zeidi says, "He told me that he has no regret because of what he did and that he would do it again."

He says his brother was forced to write the letter and that he has been beaten and burned with cigarettes while in custody. Meanwhile, on his Web site, Maliki says al-Zeidi was coerced by a known terrorist: "He revealed that a person provoked him to commit this act and that person is known to us for slitting throats."

His trial on charges of assaulting a foreign leader begins December 31st.

Big Fix?

A renowned environmental consultant says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been cooking the books on global warming. Former University of Winnipeg Climatology Professor Dr. Tim Ball writes in the Canada Free Press, "The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models."

He says the IPCC has a habit of releasing computer model summaries before climate studies are even completed. He says by doing this, "The summary gets maximum media attention and becomes the public understanding of what the scientists said... they create an appearance of certainty about a human cause of [global] warming."

Adding, "The computer models themselves are completely inadequate to represent global climate... but don't believe me. The IPCC technical report released in 2007, says so."

Bishop Babble

The archbishop of Canterbury has compared the British government's response to the economic downturn to Nazi Germany.

Dr. Rowan Williams is not immune to controversy. In the past he has said Islamic Sharia law should be incorporated into the British legal system, has suggested reparations for the slave trade, and under his stewardship the Church of England almost split in two over the ordination of gay clergy.

Now he writes in the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the Nazi's pursued a principle that "a lot of people that you might have thought mattered as human beings actually didn't."

He says similarly, the British administration fails to take account of "particular human costs." Adding, "Without these anxieties about the specific costs, we've lost the essential moral compass."

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.

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