Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader has taken the side of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq w ho's camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch. Nader praises her for "the courage to spotlight ... the cowardly character trait of a president who refuses to meet with anyone critical of his illegal, fabricated, deceptive war."
In an open letter to Sheehan, Nader goes on: "This rogue regime led by two draft-dodgers and officially counseled by similar pro-war evaders during the Vietnam War is not [representative of] 'our country.’”
Change of Heart?
Speaking of Sheehan, earlier this week we told you that some of her recent criticism of President Bush seemed to be a change of heart, based on what she had told her local paper, The Reporter in California. Well, now the paper is rushing to her defense, reporting — under the headline "Anti-war position not new" — that, "We don't think there has been a dramatic turnaround. Clearly, Cindy Sheehan's outrage was festering even then."
That may be true. But just after meeting Mr. Bush last year, she told the paper, "I now know [the president is] sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
Last weekend she said, "He acted like it was a party. He came in very jovial— like we should be happy that ... our son died for [the president's] misguided policies."
Ads a Waste of Money?
The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, says the ads now being released for and against Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts are all a waste of money, since they're not likely to change votes on the committee. He tells the AP, "These outside lobbying groups, whether on the right or the left, have become, for me anyway, basically irrelevant. They will probably be offended by that, and I am not saying they shouldn't do what they do. I just wish they didn't."
And an organization for Dutch nudists is upset that people are having sex on nude beaches in the Netherlands. The Dutch Naturists Federation says public sex does not belong on their beaches, insisting "well-meaning naked vacationers" are suffering from the behavior of others. It's urging the government to set aside public-sex beaches apart from the nude ones. In the meantime, it says, naked beachgoers should call the police if they see anyone crossing the line.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report