Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Bush administration has decided to give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the same access to military aircraft for trips to her California district as was afforded to her predecessor after 9/11. But Pelosi is said by military sources to be interested in more — a larger plane capable of carrying more people non-stop to the west coast — and asking if it's ok to fly part of the Northern California Congressional Delegation to San Francisco in the next few weeks.
But a spokesman for Pelosi says she is only asking for what her predecessor had. Pelosi's also inquired about a military plane for the 152-mile trip to a Democratic party congressional conference in Williamsburg, Virginia last week. No plane was provided.
Military analyst William Arkin of the Washington Post has issued a partial apology for a column on the paper's Web site that provoked a harsh backlash last week. Arkin used the term "mercenary" to describe American military personnel. Among those critical were three Republican senators who wrote to the paper to express what they called their disgust at the piece. Arkin tried to explain himself in a follow-up column — "I used the word to incite and call into question their presumption that the public had a duty to support them ... so I committed blasphemy. Mercenary... does not accurately describe the condition of the American solider today. I sincerely apologize to anyone in the military who took my words literally."
Arkin also said troops were given — "obscene amenities" in the war zone — along with other critical comments. He has not apologized for those.
Some dire warnings came out of the summary of a forthcoming United Nations scientific report on climate change — such as the conclusion that global warming is most likely caused by humans, might spark fierce natural disasters and could be around for centuries.
A sample of mainstream media reaction — ABC News "(there is) no longer any question that the earth is warming. The warming is due to greenhouse gasses and those gasses are produced by us." CBS — "the planet is warming up, and it's our fault." The New York Times says the report "lays the whole problem at humanity's doorstep."
But as we pointed out Friday — critics say the summary is actually the work of political appointees and not scientists. And The Wall Street Journal says the technical report to be released in a few months will backpedal from several earlier predictions — such as a decrease by half in the estimated sea level rise and a finding that the last report overestimated human influence on climate change since the industrial revolution by one-third.
Jews "Repugnant" And "Apes"
A former teacher at a Muslim school in London says textbooks there describe Jews as "repugnant" and "apes," and refer to Christians as "pigs." The Evening Standard reports the teacher says students have been heard saying they want to "kill Americans," praising 9/11 and idolizing Usama bin Laden as a "hero." The teacher says he was fired from the school after exposing cheating by students. The school denies his claims of racism.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.