Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A Greater Threat?
Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha, who has called for the immediate redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq to Okinawa, Japan, now says the American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Murtha also denounced what he called the military's cover-up of the deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of U.S. Marines in Haditha at a town meeting in Miami this weekend, despite a Pentagon report last week that found no evidence of a knowing cover-up.
Closer Than Ever?
A constitutional ban on flag burning has passed the House with the required two-thirds majority six times since 1995, but has never been close to clearing the Senate — until now. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's chief of staff tells the Los Angeles Times that the amendment, which is scheduled to come to the floor this week, will "win or lose by a vote."
But the ACLU, which opposes the ban, insists that the constitution won't be amended any time soon, arguing that some senators who supported the amendment for political reasons, knowing it was doomed to fail, will rethink their position as passage becomes more likely.
Fit Ernie Fletcher
Kentucky's Republican governor Ernie Fletcher is urging his state to walk more as part of a statewide initiative to fight obesity. But Fletcher himself doesn't even walk across the street from his home to his office; instead, getting chauffeured some 200 feet to his door in a Lincoln Town Car.
Fletcher defends riding to and from work, calling it a "tradition," adding that the trip has nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with security. But state Democratic Senator Ernesto Scorsone says Fletcher is setting a bad example, saying, "The governor should practice what he's preaching."
Human Rights... for Primates
A Spanish lawmaker has proposed a resolution that would make Spain the first country to grant human rights to apes. The Green Party's Francisco Garrido says primates are genetically "so close to humans" that they deserve to be treated as more than "mere objects or play things."
His proposal would bestow on gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans the "fundamental moral and legal protections of the right to life, the freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and protection from torture." London's Daily Telegraph reports that the resolution is set to be debated by the parliament's environment committee at the end of the month, where Garrido says he expects it to pass.
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.