Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Eliminate Race-Based Groups
Colorado Republican Congressman and possible presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo says the Congressional Black Caucus and other race-based lawmaker groups should be eliminated.
Tancredo is reacting to a story we told you about earlier this week that Tennessee Democrat Stephen Cohen — who is white — had said he would be honored to join the Congressional Black Caucus — but that it had been made clear that he would not be welcome.
Tancredo says, "it is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race."
Besides the black caucus, Democrats have a Hispanic Caucus with 21 members. Republicans have a similar hispanic group with five full members and 11 associate members who are not Hispanic.
In Great Britain, which has experienced more recent terrorist attacks than the U.S., an overwhelming majority of British people apparently is willing to surrender some civil liberties in order to combat terrorism.
The annual British social attitudes survey of 3,000 adults finds 80 percent say the government should be able to tap phones and open mail of terror suspects. 71 percent think compulsory identification cards would be a price worth paying. 50 percent would favor denying jury trials to terror suspects. 25 percent say it would be okay to hold them up to a week without a lawyer. And 22 percent would favor torture if it is the only way information could be obtained.
Blame It on Global Warming?
Some delegates at a climate change conference in London are blaming global warming for terrorism. Experts at the conference say global warming can exacerbate the divide between rich and poor, help radicalize populations and spark terrorism.
They say rising sea levels and desertification could spawn massive refugee flow and overpopulation — which will in turn lead to increased regional tensions and terrorist violence. One scientist noted that Usama bin Laden has already listed environmental damage among his many grievances against the U.S.
Fired for Deployment?
A military nurse in San Francisco who has served in combat zones for 30 years is suing her civilian employer — alleging she was fired after she told her supervisor she was being deployed to Iraq. Sfgate.com reports Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Debra Muhl says she was let go in violation of federal law which guarantees returning reservists their old jobs or equivalent positions.
The company — Sutter Health — contends Muhl's termination was based on internal economics and not her deployment. But Muhl says her supervisor earlier had told her to file a complaint with Congress seeking a military discharge. Sutter has plenty of company in her situation. The Pentagon says it received more than 8,000 similar complaints last year — nearly double the previous year.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.