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Special Report

Obama Catches Heat From the Left

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Mum's the Word

President-elect Obama is catching heat from the left over his refusal to condemn the violence in Gaza. Mr. Obama said today he is being briefed on the situation, but that there is only one sitting president at a time.

Jodi Evans — co-founder of the liberal anti-war group Code Pink — told the OpEd News yesterday she is "disgusted that Obama didn't make a statement. He's had an opinion about everything else. This is an atrocity and if he doesn't call it an atrocity, it's shameful."

Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen Reports Poll indicates 62% of Republicans surveyed support Israel's decision to take military action against the Palestinians. Just 31% of Democrats agreeing with Israel's move.

Ice, Ice Baby!

Despite dire warnings from global warming alarmists, Daily Tech Online reports global sea ice levels are now equivalent to those seen 29 years ago. Satellite data from the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center indicates the rate of global sea-ice increase in the last four months of the year was the fastest rate of change on record.

Meanwhile, former nuclear scientist and energy expert Michael Fox writes in the Hawaii Reporter that 2008 was "another grim year for the global warmers."

"2008 marked the tenth consecutive year of no global warming... the earth has been cooling for the last six years."

Ironic Twist

As noted earlier, state employees in Illinois will spend Wednesday learning how not to end up like their boss, Governor Rod Blagojevich. More than 200 workers will take part in an ethics seminar at the University of Illinois-Chicago, as Blagojevich deals with federal corruption allegations for allegedly trying to sell President-elect Obama's Senate seat.

The seminar is part of an annual effort aimed at fighting government fraud. And if you have any concerns about possible violations during the seminar, Jill Watson — a spokesman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office — tells a newspaper in southern Illinois, "panelists are not paid, and no one receives money for transportation."

She did say, however, that participants will receive lunch and a plaque for their efforts.

Fun House

And finally, a jail in Fort Worth, Texas has been shut down while authorities investigate what they call dangerous conditions for both jailers and inmates. FBI agents raided Montague County Jail last month and found that some cells could lock from the inside and others were filled with recliners. The district attorney said some surveillance camera cords had been disconnected and that some inmates made partitions to block the view into their cells. And one local TV report said pills were found in some cells.

The nearly 60 inmates have been transferred to other facilities. No one has been arrested yet. But authorities say a number of people — inmates and jailers — could be indicted.

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