Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Not a Civil War
On this fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war — a new survey based on an unusually large sample of Iraqis indicates that contrary to many Western analysts — most Iraqis do not believe their country is engaged in a civil war. The poll of more than 5,000 Iraqi adults was conducted by the British market research firm Opinion Research Business and reported in our sister publication, the Times of London.
61 percent of the respondents did not think the situation qualifies as a civil war. 49 percent said life is better under the current Iraqi government. Just 26 percent preferred life under Saddam Hussein. And 64 percent want to see a united Iraq under a central national government.
Al Gore may be contributing to global warming in more ways than just using large amounts of energy at his Nashville mansion. The Tennessean newspaper reports Gore has received more than a half-million dollars in royalty payments from zinc mining on his property.
The EPA says Gore's mines are part of a complex that released more than 19 million pounds of toxic substances into the air, water and land from 1998 to 2003. The mines are scheduled to be reopened later this year after four years of inactivity.
The paper says some of Gore's neighbors see a conflict between the mining and the former vice president's moral call for environmental activism. One man said that Gore was not "walking the walk," adding, "mining is not exactly synonymous with being green, is it?"
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called President Bush "the devil," "a drunkard," and "a menace to the world." He has consistently referred to the U.S. as "the empire" and said George Washington was the leader of a movement to "support a slave-owning elite."
ButBarbara Walters finds him a sentimental man who likes the U.S. Walters said of Chavez following their recent interview: "He was not what I expected. He was very dignified. He was warm, friendly. He likes the U.S. It's George Bush that he doesn't like...This is a man who has some sentiment and he is not crazy as some people seem to think."
Prince Falls in Love
And a pilot project in 14 British schools has some four to eleven year olds reading a book called "King and King," in which a prince falls in love with three different princesses before falling in love with a man.
Another book called "And Tango Makes Three," which is in some U.S. school libraries, tells the true story of two male penguins who are in love, and a zookeeper who gives them an egg to hatch and nurture.
The director of the "No Outsiders" project says it is needed to combat what she calls the "absolutely massive" problem of bias against homosexuals among British schoolchildren.
But conservative Christians and Muslims are united in opposition to the effort — which one official for the Muslim Council of Britain calls "morally unacceptable."
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.