Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
If you are wondering why the apparent popular support for gun control does not translate into legislative action — there is ample illustration in the latest ABC News poll taken after the Virginia Tech shootings. 61 percent of the respondents said they favor stronger gun control laws — but as to whether they would do any good – 49 percent said yes and 50 percent said no. By a 52-to-29 margin, respondents said they prefer enforcing existing gun laws to passing new ones.
ABC devoted nearly two minutes to the poll during last night's evening newscast — but never mentioned one of the most interesting results. When asked the primary source of gun violence – 40 percent said popular culture, and 35 percent said the way parents raise their children. Only 18 percent blamed the availability of guns.
"That's Our Job"
In a paragraph of the United States constitution that makes no mention of Congress — the founding fathers decreed that "the president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States."
But in a CNN interview today — Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman and leading war critic John Murtha was asked about complaints from President Bush that Congress was trying to micromanage the war in Iraq. Murtha's response: "That's our job."
The Republican take from Florida Congressman Adam Putnam: "We strongly disagree. It is never appropriate for politicians in the gilded committee rooms of Washington to be dictating targets and tactics on the ground."
Beer drinkers in Germany — and that's just about everybody — are upset at the prospect of higher beer prices because of less barley — which is being replaced in many fields by crops intended for use in biofuels. The French Press Agency reports the price of barley has doubled in the last year. The head of the German Millers Federation insists biofuels are monopolizing the land and says — "The German government has got to be reasonable and not give more importance to energy security than to food security."
Similar stories have been reported in other countries — such as Mexico — where riots have accompanied the soaring price of tortilla flour — because corn is being diverted to ethanol production.
Animal rights advocates in Belgrade are upset with a plan to sedate race horses to keep them from getting excited — during a Rolling Stones concert this July. The Stones are expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the hippodrome race track — which has about 300 horses in its stables.
Owners say they'll sedate the horses if the noise and excitement get them agitated. But Serbia's biggest animal protection society does not want the horses drugged — and wants Mick and the Stones to go someplace else — saying noise and vibrations are the strongest causes of stress for animals.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.