Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
View From the Front
Democratic House Whip James Clyburn says a positive report from Iraq forces commander General David Petraeus to Congress in September would be — "a real problem for us."
Clyburn tells The Washington Post that an upbeat assessment of the war from Petraeus would likely split House Democrats — making their goal of forcing a timetable to end the war impossible. Clyburn says Petraeus' words will carry significant weight among the 47 Blue Dog Caucus members — and without their support — a timetable is probably out of reach.
Clyburn is advising other Democratic leaders to wait until Petraeus' report before making their next move in their battle with the president over the future of U.S. troops in the region.
There are new details emerging about that $90,000 the FBI says was found in the freezer of Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson. Documents released late last week indicate that agents found $20,000 wrapped in foil and rubber bands inside a box from a company that makes soybean burgers. Another $20,000 was stashed inside a Pillsbury pie crust box. Three stacks of $10,000 were hidden in a bag from a local Yes Organic Market. And two other $10,000 bricks were just wrapped in foil.
Jefferson is facing federal bribery, racketeering, fraud and obstruction charges. He has pleaded innocent and faces trial early next year.
Not Wild About Harry
An Iranian newspaper with strong ties to the ruling mullahs and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is blasting the government's role in the release of the latest Harry Potter book. The Kayhahn newspaper criticizes the Iranian culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry for approving distribution of the latest Potter project.
The paper says the series is — "a billion-dollar Zionist project." It says the books were designed to "disrupt young minds."
And some Muslims in the Coton Park section of Derbyshire, England are opposing plans for the construction of a pet food factory — over fears that pork products will be incinerated and "rain down" on them from above. The Daily Mail reports Muslim residents also contend they will be able to smell the pork from their homes.
The Environmental Health Agency is investigating the potential effects of the plant. But the pet food company says there is "an almost 99-percent guarantee" that the pork smell will not reach the area where the Muslims live. And they say that pork remnants cannot "rain down" on the group — because the plant will not burn any animal materials.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.