Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A Miami-based artist has been forced to paint over Barack Obama's face on a mural. Serge Toussaint was paid $3,000 by the Liberty City Community Revitalization Trust to complete a Martin Luther King Jr. themed piece as part of a beautification project.
The project was supposed to include a mural of blue skies, clouds and quotes from Dr. King along MLK Boulevard. But Toussaint added a painting of Obama to the mural arguing, "What's the point of painting Martin Luther King Jr. if you can't paint his dream?"
But the Florida Department of Transportation received complaints that the painting was an unfair political endorsement. Toussaint has since painted over Obama's face, but says he has gotten an earful about using white primer. He says he is being accused of "whitewashing" Obama.
Out of Sync
Colin Kahl, a key adviser to Barack Obama's campaign, is recommending that 60-80,000 troops should be kept in Iraq as late as 2010. That is at odds with Obama's pledge to withdraw forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.
According to The New York Sun, Kahl wrote a paper for the Center for New American Security which states, "the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture of perhaps 60,000 to 80,000 by the end of 2010."
Kahl is the day-to-day coordinator of Obama's working group on Iraq, but says his written views have nothing to do with the senator's campaign. Foreign policy adviser Susan Rice has said that Obama's pledge is a goal — not a commitment — and that advice from the military and facts on the ground will weigh heavily on troop movements.
Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of La Nina air and ocean currents in the Pacific. That's according to the United Nation's chief meteorologist Michelle Jarraud. This means that global temperatures have not risen for a decade and Jarraud says the data cast further doubt on some global warming theories.
Jarraud told the BBC that La Nina will continue into the summer, causing temperatures across the globe to drop by a fraction of a degree. The phenomenon has contributed significantly to this year's torrential rains in Australia and some of the coldest temperatures on record across China.
Picture Not So Perfect?
White House officials are criticizing The New York Times for publishing a photo they see as editorially unfair.
Accompanying an article on Friday about this week's NATO summit in Romania, The Times included a very large photo — almost half a page in size — that showed President Bush standing somewhat alone. The shot was taken moments before the NATO group photo, as leaders were looking for their positions on the platform. But President Bush had obviously found his.
White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said, "Only The New York Times would choose a photo of the president standing alone during a week when NATO allies instead stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him on our security policies."
President Bush achieved two major goals during this week's summit: NATO leaders unanimously endorsed the proposed U.S. missile defense system in Europe and agreed to provide more troops for the war in Afghanistan.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.