Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Global Warming Beneficial?
A meteorology professor at the Massachusetts institute of Technology says there is no compelling evidence that global warming will lead to a catastrophe — and in fact might be beneficial.
Richard Lindzen writes in Newsweek: "Much of the alarm over climate change is based on ignorance of what is normal weather and climate. There is no evidence that extreme weather events are increasing…Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing."
Lindzen says most of the current alarm over climate change is based on what he calls "inherently untrustworthy climate models, similar to those that cannot accurately forecast the weather a week from now."
Meanwhile, top hurricane forecaster William Gray of Colorado State University called Al Gore "a gross alarmist" during the closing speech of the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans.
Gray says the recent increase in strong hurricanes is part of a natural cycle that has nothing to do with global warming. He says Gore is, "doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about."
National Security Implications
A bill in the U.S. Senate would require the CIA and the Pentagon to assess the national security implications of global warming.
The Boston Globe reports the bill from Republican Chuck Hagel and Democrat Dick Durbin calls for a National Intelligence Estimate that would pinpoint regions at highest risk of humanitarian suffering and assess the likelihood of wars erupting over diminishing water and other resources.
The Pentagon would be required to undertake a series of war games to determine how global climate change could affect U.S. security.
A planned T.V. drama based on the exploits of a British Iraq war hero has been dropped by the BBC. The Sunday Telegraph quotes a source close to the project as saying the BBC began to have second thoughts about the project last year because it was hesitant to show anything positive about the war. Private Johnson Beharry twice braved ambushes to lead troops to safety — becoming the first person to receive Britain's highest award for valor — the Victoria Cross — in 25 years.
The BBC confirms the decision but won't comment on the reasons.
And as you put the finishing touches on your tax returns it probably will not comfort you to know that the IRS has lost almost 500 laptop computers in the last three years — many containing sensitive taxpayer information.
A government audit says 490 laptops were either lost or stolen in 387 separate incidents between 2003 and 2006. Many of the computers were stolen from employees' vehicles or their homes. And the audit says IRS workers are not properly encrypting data or using password protection to safeguard taxpayer information.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.