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Special Report

One Scientist Thinks Global Cooling Is a Bigger Threat Than Global Warming

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Global Cooling

The leader of a group of Canadian scientists says global warming isn't the biggest climate threat to the planet — Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre director R. Timothy Patterson writes in the Financial Post that core samples from the bottom of deep western Canadian fjords indicate climate change correlates to solar cycles of varying lengths — and show little correlation between climate change and carbon dioxide levels.

Patterson writes that the sun will begin its weakest solar cycle of the past two centuries by the year 2020. He says that could lead to unusually cool conditions that could threaten agriculture in extreme northern regions.

Global cooling isn't a new idea — a famous TIME Magazine article raised the possibility of another Ice Age — back in 1974.

Watchdog Groups

Groups that monitor government actions are balking at a feature of proposed new ethics legislation that would allow them to file ethics complaints — but require them to make their own donor lists public.

The Hill newspaper reports groups such as Public Citizen and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group are denouncing the plan — calling it a step backwards.

But lawmakers say watchdog organizations that demand greater transparency from Congress should be willing to submit to the same scrutiny.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had set a May 1 deadline for the ethics proposal — but the opposition from the watchdogs may continue to delay the completion of the bill.

9 to 1 Democrat

An analysis of Federal Election Commission records by NBC indicates journalists who make political donations favor Democrats over Republicans by a margin of almost nine-to-one.

The network identified 144 media members who made contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign. 125 of those gave to Democrats or liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans, with two giving to both parties.

Two of those 144 work here at the FOX News Channel. One gave to Republican candidates and the other— a researcher for Special Report— gave to a Democrat.

Daily Commute

And Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich makes a practice of commuting from his Chicago home to the state capital in Springfield — on a state-owned plane at taxpayer expense.

The Associated Press reports the price tag is about $5,800/day — and roughly $76,000 since late May.

Previous governors have chosen to live in the Executive Mansion in Springfield or stay there while the three-day-a-week legislature is in session.

But Blagojevich wants to go home after each work day — which the AP says averages less than five hours spent at the capitol per trip.

One Republican state senator called the travel cost "an enormous waste," and noted it amounted to more than a teacher's salary.

Blagojevich's office refused to answer questions about the subject.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.