Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Show Might Go On
The head of a German opera that canceled performances of a popular show because of fears of a Muslim backlash ... now says she will reconsider if she gets adequate security. The Mozart opera "Idomeneo" features a scene in which a character pulls the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad from a bag.
Germany's interior minister warned of possible violence — and the opera house pulled the plug. That sparked howls of complaint from some very high places, including Berlin's mayor and Germany's chancellor, as well as from many Muslims. So now opera director Kirsten Harms says she'll reinstate the opera — if she is promised a comprehensive security plan.
Packing on the Pounds
Critics worry about detainees at Guantanamo Bay getting mistreated. But now we learn that they are eating so well that many are gaining enormous amounts of weight. The Associated Press reports detainees are offered choices that can total as much as 4,200 calories a day – one-third more than federal prison inmates in the U.S. One detainee has gone from 215 pounds when he arrived in 2002 to 410 pounds now. Overall, the detainees have gained an average of 20 pounds.
Some critics say the weight gain is because the detainees don't get enough exercise, but a spokesman at Guantanamo says detainees are given a minimum of 90-minutes a day to exercise if they want it. Many are allowed up to 12-hours per week, and have access to treadmills, stationary bikes and other fitness equipment.
Checking the Facts
Imagine being able to hear a politician make a claim and instantly check its accuracy and truthfulness. The head of Internet search engine "Google" says that kind of software may be available within five years. Eric Schmidt tells London's Financial Times that the so-called "truth predictor" would check seemingly factual statements against historical data to see if they are indeed correct. He predicts such a truth check could affect the outcome of elections.
Schmidt advises politicians to think as if "every one of your voters is online all the time — then inputting 'is this true or false?' We at Google are not in charge of truth, but we might be able to give a probability."
Don’t Vote for Me!
This time of year, you hear a constant drumbeat from politicians begging us to support them. But a City Council candidate in Blaine, Minnesota is begging people NOT to vote for him. Paul Herold took a new job after he entered the race —- and says he no longer has time to serve. He tried his best to lose the primary — taking out a newspaper ad pleading for people to vote against him — even offering to drive people to the polls to vote for his opponents. Nevertheless, he still came in second and qualified for the general election.
Now he says he can't get his name off the ballot unless he either dies or moves — neither of which he apparently wants to do. If Herold happens to win, and declines the seat, the city would have to hold a special election — which could cost about $30,000.
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.