Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
We told you Wednesday about Czech Prime Minister and current European Union President Mirek Topolanek slamming U.S. plans to spend its way out of the recession as "a way to hell."
But his office is back-tracking today saying that Topolanek was misinterpreted and that he'd meant to say the European Union would be on the way to hell if it boosted its own spending too much.
Other European leaders are not pleased with the comments ahead of President Obama's arrival to the area for the G20 conference. The International Herald Tribune reports Martin Schulz, European socialist leader, described Topolanek's comments as "not on the level on which the EU ought to be operating with the United States."
Jiri Dienstbier, former Czech foreign minister added this: "Some politicians think twice before they speak, others like Topolanek don't even think once".
Government records show taxpayer-funded researchers are giving crack, powder cocaine, morphine, and other hard-core drugs to addicts for testing. The Washington Examiner reports that for decades the government has authorized and paid for such studies, although the report does not list the total taxpayer dollar amount spent on the programs.
Records show researchers gave test subjects: morphine at the Veterans Administration in Washington D.C.; cocaine injections at a U.S. military facility in Bethesda Maryland, and crack cocaine in several major cities like Baltimore, New York, Minneapolis, and San Antonio.
The subjects of the tests signed consent forms and were paid. A spokeswoman for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded most of the studies, says her agency issues grants to researchers all over the country but grantees must follow strict human subjects research guidelines.
John Walters, former Drug Control Policy director under the Bush administration says: "The question is whether the results justify using these individuals as disposable subjects."
And finally, there's a celestial controversy taking off. NASA held a contest in which people could vote on names for an area of the International Space Station.
But comedian Stephen Colbert succeeded in getting enough of his viewers to write in votes for "Colbert" that his name won.
NASA is hinting it could overlook that and go with 2nd-place winner "Serenity" but one congressman is siding with the funnyman saying Colbert won fair and square. Another representative is backing the space agency.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' spokesman, C.J. Karamargin, says in Roll Call, "Congresswoman Giffords respects Stephen Colbert. She even respects his desire to have a room named after him that will be used to recycle urine... However, the Congresswoman believes NASA should have the final say in the naming of the room."
NASA is, in fact, planning to use the room to recycle astronauts' urine for drinking water.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.