Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
After a public outcry over his failure to thank the British troops who rescued him from his Iraqi captors, former hostage Norman Kember now says he's grateful to those who played a part in his rescue. But in the same breath, Kember said he does "not believe that a lasting peace is achieved by armed force."
London's Daily Telegraph reports that all three hostages, from what are called "Christian Peacemaker Teams," even refused to be debriefed by officers hoping to learn more about the kidnappers themselves. British General Mike Jackson says he's "saddened that there does not seem to have been a note of gratitude for the soldiers who risked their lives."
Not Welcome in San Francisco
Twenty-five thousand evangelical Christians demonstrated against TV sex and violence in San Francisco this weekend. But that didn't go down well with the city council, which passed a resolution condemning the rally as an "act of provocation" to negatively influence what the council called America's "most tolerant" city.
The group, called "Battle Cry for a Generation," uses the Bible to counter what it calls corrupting influences in the media. But the San Francisco Chronicle reports that about 50 counter-protesters denounced the gathering as a "fascist mega-pep rally." And San Francisco's State Representative Mark Leno called the Christians loud, obnoxious, and disgusting, adding, "they should get out of San Francisco."
Leaders of an Arizona protest against legislation to crack down on immigration have demanded that Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon meet with them by Wednesday to apologize for his comments about their rally.
Did the mayor insult the protesters or use racial slurs? Hardly. Instead, Gordon complained that organizers told the city only 2,000 people would take part in the protest leaving Phoenix unprepared for the 20,000 who flooded the streets. While defending the right to protest, Mayor Gordon called it "shameful" that "businesses and residents had their rights trampled on."
Last week we noted that Vice President Cheney likes four cans of Diet Sprite in his hotel room, and now the same Web site that had that report details what Massachusetts Senator John Kerry preferred when he ran for president in 2004.
Kerry's campaign travel requests are defined by what the Senator does not like — including spicy foods or anything with citrus or chocolate. One "confidential" document obtained by The Smoking Gun Web site says Kerry's standing orders were to never to bring the senator Tomato products, celery, or the French bottled water "Evian."
Another notes that the ability to order movies in his room makes Kerry "very happy." Meanwhile, Kerry's wife Teresa had her own set of demands, including a "heavenly" king-size bed in a suite with "good air circulation" — and water run through a "reverse osmosis filter."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.