Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Democratic Congressman Brian Baird got an earful Monday from constituents in his politically-mixed district during a town hall meeting in Vancouver, Washington. Baird voted against the Iraq war resolution and has supported timelines for troop withdrawal.
But he reversed himself after a recent trip to the war zone — and says he thinks most Americans agree with his new position. One activist called his switch a betrayal — and said "there is only one way to end an illegal and immoral war, and that's to end it."
Baird is taking the heat in stride — saying — "Somebody said to me, 'Oh man, you're going to get killed tonight. I said, 'No, they get killed in Iraq. I'm going to get criticized.'"
The cable networks MSNBC and CNBC are refusing to air advertisements calling for continued support of the Iraq war. The ads feature Iraqi war veterans and their families. Powerline reports the networks say they have a policy against running sponsored ads dealing with controversial public issues.
But the president of the group that produced the ads says the networks have aired similar items in the past dealing with issues such as the Darfur genocide and health care for the uninsured. No response yet from those networks.
The ads are being aired by CNN and FOX News.
The Washington Post and several other newspapers chose not to run Sunday's installment of the comic strip "Opus" in order to avoid offending Muslims.
The comic featured a female character who wants to become an Islamic radical because it's a "hot new fad on the planet." It ends with a bit of sexual innuendo. The Post — which is the syndicator for the strip — warned subscribers ahead of time.
But a week earlier, no warning was given about a strip that poked fun at the late Reverend Jerry Falwell — and no papers refused to run it.
The founder and editor of the Web site "The American Muslim" says she thought Sunday's comic was funny — called the whole thing a "non-incident" — and says now Muslims will be blamed for having the installment pulled.
On the Fence
A Torrance, California man is looking at six months in jail — for fixing his fence. The Daily Breeze newspaper reports Francisco Linares originally asked the city to repair the fence behind his house.
He was told it was on his property and was his responsibility. But after he made the repairs, the city said the fence was on city land — and he had to either tear it down or obtain the proper permits.
Linares says he could not navigate the red tape and missed his deadline. So the judge threw the book at him, imposing the mandatory sentence with no chance of house arrest or probation. He is due to report to jail September 10.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.