Published April 05, 2010
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
President Obama's Easter address to the nation is being criticized as a little too broad. While Mr. Obama made it clear at the beginning of his weekly Web address Saturday that he and his family would be, "marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ," he then went on to celebrate the beliefs of Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and even nonbelievers: "on this Easter weekend — let us hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters — as members of the same family — the family of man."
One critic notes: "If a president wants to water down religious beliefs in an attempt to find a synthesized religion of the 'family of man', you end up removing Christ from Easter..."
By Any Means Necessary
One Texas church discovered the best way to get people into the Easter pews: bribe them. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times says Bay Area fellowship gave away millions of dollars in donated prizes to those that attended services, including 16 cars, televisions, as well as free goods and services.
The outreach did the trick, upping the weekly attendance from 7,000 to more than 23,000.The church was criticized nationally, but Pastor Bill Cornelius responded with humor, saying: "people used to get on us for asking for money. Now they're getting onto us for giving money away."
Cornelius said the idea was to get the people to church, and hope they would walk away with something more lasting than a car or a television.
The national Tea Party movement is gaining traction, and not just with Republicans. It now appears that four in 10 are either Independents or Democrats.
The Hill reports three months worth of phone surveys found 57 percent of self-identified Tea Partiers were Republicans, 28 percent Independents, and 13 percent Democrats.
Off the Beaten Path
And finally, soon you'll be able to vacation like a wanton dictator. Saddam Hussein's hometown is seeking foreign investors to turn some of the late Iraqi ruler's palaces into tourist traps.
The 76 abandoned villas in Tikrit, which is about 100 miles north of Baghdad, boast plush artificial lakes and date orchards.
While most foreign tourists visit Iraq for religious reasons, a similar presidential palace compound south of Baghdad has become a popular getaway for honeymooners.
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.