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Special Report

Questions About Special Mortgage Sen. Chris Dodd Secured from Countrywide

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Under the Radar

Largely unnoticed by the national press, questions have arisen about that special mortgage that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut secured from Countrywide Financial. They emerge not in the news section of the Hartford Courant newspaper, but on its editorial page.

Former Republican state Legislator Kevin Rennie writes that Dodd "claimed he got a deal available to any other borrower."

But he said Dodd still has not produced a survey of interest rates available at the time got the mortgage.

"The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee could get the information if he thought it would confirm his loud claim that it's outrageous to think he got special treatment."

Dodd's wife said other companies offered similar rates. But Rennie says Dodd has failed to identify those other lenders.

Green Means No

The Barack Obama campaign's insistence that members of the press not wear green while in Israel and Jordan because it is the color of the Hamas terrorist group has been met with ridicule by some authorities on Islam.

The Politico newspaper reports that a New York University professor who is the former Middle East bureau chief for Newsday says, "I guess green is the 'Hamas color' — but it's also the color of Islam! That’s one way for the Obama campaign to alienate 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide."

And a spokesman for the council on American Islamic Relations called the dress code a "misstep," adding, "If he goes to Ireland, are they going to ask them not to wear green or orange?"

Doggy Dilemma

British police chiefs are again having problems with dogs. Earlier this month the Association of Chief Police Officers began requiring police dogs to wear booties when searching the homes of Muslims because some Muslims believe dogs are unclean.

Now the Daily Mail reports police dog handlers are being told to consider whether criminals could be frightened — or allergic to dogs before using them in raids or searches. The association's adviser on dogs says the guidelines help prevent offending people like "asthma sufferers who may be sensitive to dog hair."

But one police sergeant says, "The whole point of police dogs is to frighten people rigid ... the traditional shout of 'stand still or I will set the dog on you' will presumably now have to become 'excuse me, my police dog is quite hairy and might cause alarm as he sinks his fangs into your right thigh — is that all right with you?'"

Get a Whiff of This!

A smelly, dead bird stuck in a tree near a tennis tournament in Vancouver, Canada, will be hanging around a little longer. The Canadian press reports that those attending the tournament are not happy about it.

But the city's parks board says the dead bird will not be removed because doing so could disturb the entire colony of endangered herons that live in the tree — putting them at greater risk. The board has determined that the carcass does not pose a threat to people below.

Officials say the dead bird will be removed when the colony leaves the tree — possibly sometime next month.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.