Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A Lott to Blame Frist For?
Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott is pointing the finger at Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other fellow Republicans for helping to mastermind his political downfall in 2002. Lott, you may recall, resigned as Republican leader after a backlash over his remark at the late Strom Thurmond's birthday party, that the country would have been a better place if Thurmond — once an avowed segregationist — had been elected president.
In a new book out next week, Lott says Frist jumped on the "innocent and thoughtless remark," insisting, "I considered Frist's power grab a personal betrayal. ... When I learned of his move [to become leader], I felt, and still feel, that he was one of the main manipulators of the whole scenario. No other senior Senator with stature would have run against me."
Frist's office, quoted by Roll Call newspaper, would not comment on the specific allegation, but said Frist, "always appreciates Senator Lott's insights."
Judith Shouldn't Be in Jail?
When a grand jury jails someone for contempt of court, it's usually until the grand jury ends. But, according to The New York Times, that doesn't mean reporter Judith Miller should stay in a Virginia jail for refusing to reveal a source in the CIA-leak investigation. In an editorial today, The Times says, "…it should be clear after 41 days in a Virginia jail that Ms. Miller is not going to change her mind. She appears unwavering in her mission to safeguard the freedom of the press to do its job effectively. ... It's time for the judge and the prosecutor to let Ms. Miller go."
Miller has never made clear why other reporters including Matt Cooper were willing to testify after waivers from sources, but she was not.
The historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, just blocks from the White House, was evacuated Sunday, after a hotel employee discovered a suspicious package in an unspecified common area. More than 300 guests spilled out onto the street, as emergency rescue teams, the FBI and the Secret Service converged on the scene.
The package was brought to the basement where it was blasted with a water cannon, examined, and determined to be a bomb, but a fake one. The FBI then launched an investigation into who left the phony bomb. Well, that investigation has now finished, and it turns out it was left by… a contractor for the Secret Service. The fake bomb was a training device accidentally left behind.
Remember last week we told you how the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was being accused of racism for launching a national tour called, "Are animals the New Slaves?" The tour featured giant photographs of mostly black Americans being tortured, sold and killed, next to pictures of animals being tortured, sold and killed. Well, PETA has now suspended the tour while, in PETA's words, "we evaluate" it. PETA says some of the feedback it's heard has been "quite negative." But, it insists, "most of it [was] overwhelmingly positive."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report