Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Beat the Press
Former President Bill Clinton is blaming the media for the controversy over his comments last week that he was against the Iraq war "from the beginning." Media outlets quickly produced prior statements contradicting the claim — including a statement to TIME magazine in 2004 in which he said, "I supported the Iraq thing."
But when asked Tuesday by The Los Angeles Times whether he regrets last week's comments, Mr. Clinton said, "I regret that they were falsely represented by the press, who wants to make it a political story."
Mr. Clinton says he made it clear before the war that United Nations inspectors should complete their search for weapons of mass destruction before any U.S. invasion.
However, he said of the inspectors during an Oval Office address in 1998, "Saddam's deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors."
New congressional ethics rules have put a damper on holiday partying here in Washington. The rules were intended to eliminate illegal contributions and gifts. But The Politico reports things have reached a point where some party hosts have received guidance such as, "serve cheap wine and other non-newsworthy munchies" — that is referred to as "the toothpick rule" — and "get a letter of approval from the Ethics Committee and mention that in the invite."
Party-goers are advised: "Don't sit down while eating" and "Don't RSVP or sign in when you arrive — no paper trail."
Still, Politico reports many organizations are foregoing the parties altogether. And many congressional staffers and members say they will avoid what parties are held, because they cannot get any ethics guidance in writing.
Theory of Revolution
An astronomer at Iowa State University says he was denied tenure and was the subject of a plot to have him fired because of his support for the theory of intelligent design. That theory states that life was orchestrated by a higher being and did not originate by chance.
Cybercast News reports lawyers for Guillermo Gonzalez are asking the school's board of regents to reconsider the decision. The school says without elaboration that Gonzalez did not meet its criteria for tenure, but insists the decision had nothing to do with his views on intelligent design.
A decision on Gonzalez's appeal is expected in February.
Using Your Head
Police officials in North Wales are training their dogs to head butt criminals — instead of biting them — because supervisors fear biting will violate the human rights of the suspects.
K-9 magazine writes the policy comes following increased compensation claims by suspects bitten by police dogs. So now the dogs will be muzzled and trained to launch themselves like missiles at the midsection of their targets.
One retired police dog handler says it all sounds like political correctness and could be counterproductive if the public assumes the dogs are being muzzled because they are dangerous.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.