Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Despite the current credit crisis, consumer confidence actually ticked up in September. The Conference Board announced Tuesday the consumer confidence index jumped from 58.5 percent in August to 59.8 percent last month. That is higher than economic analysts had predicted.
This is how the Associated Press reported the news: "With the holiday shopping season about to start, consumer confidence is hovering near the lowest it's been since President Bush's father was commander in chief."
Not until the end of the second paragraph does the AP acknowledge that consumer confidence was up. And it took 10 paragraphs to note the expectations index, which measures consumer outlook for the next six months, also increased.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has paid nearly $100,000 from her Political Action Committee to her husband's real estate and investment firm over the past decade — a practice that she wanted to ban as recently last year. The Washington Times reports the money covered rent, utilities and accounting fees.
Federal Election Commission records show the payments have quadrupled since Paul Pelosi took over as treasurer of his wife's committee in 2007. His company is set to rake in $48,000 this year alone — eight times as much as it received annually between 2000 and 2005 when Pelosi's PAC was run by another treasurer.
Pelosi supported a bill last year that would have banned any payments by Political Action Committees to spouses. The bill passed the House but did not get out of committee in the Senate.
A nude painting of Sarah Palin is now the prime attraction at a Chicago bar. The Chicago Tribune reports Bruce Elliott painted the portrait and hung it at the Old Town Ale House, a north side dive owned by his wife.
Elliot admits he has a crush of sorts on the Republican vice presidential nominee, saying, "I've been following her religiously. I had never heard of her before, like everyone else. I find her bizarrely fascinating, even though I pretty much despise everything she stands for."
Elliot says he first painted her smile and trademark glasses before adding a gun, red high heels, a polar bear rug, a scared moose and a rugged Alaskan landscape. He says his daughter, who looks like Palin, served as the model for Palin's body.
The Other Red Meat
A new global warming report released by the Australian government suggests sheep and cattle ranchers should shift to kangaroos to help save the planet. Cybercast News says the report was commissioned by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It concludes kangaroos release smaller amounts of methane gas than sheep and cows when they belch and emit wind.
The country's climate change adviser writes, "Australian marsupials emit negligible amounts of methane from enteric fermentation. This could be a source of international comparative advantage for Australia."
Meanwhile, the National Farmers' Federation there says it has no problem with alternative meats but that consumers are not ready to substitute kangaroo for beef and lamb, adding, "The reality is that kangaroo meat currently has a very limited market."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.