Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's remarks about the leading candidate for Iraqi prime minister have caused quite a stir in the region. After a trip to Iraq last week, Clinton said Ibrahim al-Jaafari's ties to Iran were "grounds both for concern and for vigilance." The comments made headlines in Iran, and Al-Jazeera called Clinton a "shill for Israel" who "wants to run Iraq."
Now, al-Jaafari tells The London Times that Clinton "does not represent...the American administration," adding, "She knows nothing about the Iraqi situation." Clinton says that despite her concerns, she'll give Jaafri the benefit of the doubt, and won't "jump to conclusions."
French Finance minister Herve Gaymard has resigned from his post as France's chief budget-cutter over revelations we reported to you last week — that French taxpayers were paying more than $18,000 a month to put him up in a 6,000-square-foot -apartment.
Gaymard has said he needed the help because of his poor upbringing — and that if he'd been the son of a "grand bourgeois," he would own his own place. But it turns out Gaymard already owns a four bedroom apartment in Paris's Latin Quarter, but he'd been renting that out and collecting $3,000 a month in rent.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice caught the eye of Washington Post fashion columnist Robin Givhan, who says Rice's choice of outfits on her trip to Europe "speaks of sex and power." The fashion reporter says the "severe details and menacing silhouette" of Rice's jacket "call to mind a Marine's dress uniform." Her high-heeled boots, meanwhile, were described as "erotic," and said to have "altered her posture in myriad enticing ways." Givhan writes, "The sexual frisson in Rice's look also comes from the tension... of a woman dressed in vaguely masculine attire."
Frisson, by the way, is a French word meaning "tingle of excitement."
Though many observers have no recollection of seeing Secretary Rice in anything "masculine," to those who never use the word "frisson," she is widely regarded as a snappy dresser.
Students in Scottsdale, Arizona are learning the importance of language after the superintendent changed the names of many jobs in the school system. Students who ride the bus don't have bus drivers. They're now "Transporters of Learners." And complaints that once went to the Assistant Superintendent now go to the "executive director for elementary schools and excelling, teaching and learning."
While the superintendent says the titles are a statement on how much Scottsdale values learning, one human resources expert told the Arizona Republic that the changes "make her want to gag." But the school receptionist likes the changes. She is now officially known as the "Director of First Impressions" and says she loves her new title because "It sounds so important."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report