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Special Report

Why One Congresswoman Refuses to Hold Town Hall Meetings

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Avoiding the Crowds

One veteran of the failed Clinton health care reform effort is refusing to hold town hall meetings because she says critics of the current effort don't deserve a forum.

According to Real Clear Politics, New York Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter tells a liberal radio host she's just not going to do it: "I'm not doing town meetings. I'm not going to give those people a forum.... My own dignity and the dignity of the office I hold is important to me. And I know what that is. It's not a spontaneous uprising of my constituents."

Last month, Slaughter admitted to a local paper that Democrats in general have not performed well in the public relations war over health care reform.

Game Over

Two Democratic state legislators in Connecticut were left red-faced Monday after photos surfaced of them playing solitaire on their government-issued laptops during a late-night budget debate in the state capitol.

The Hartford Courant reports there are Republican calls for apologies and new rules regarding computer games during state House and Senate sessions.

Connecticut Republican Tom Foley said the photo has "subjected our state legislature to national shame and controversy." But former Democratic State House Speaker Jim Amann says: "I'm sure if they panned the whole place [in a photograph], there would have been a lot more on solitaire."

Swiss Dismiss

Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi is putting Switzerland on alert ahead of his upcoming first-ever United Nations visit.

London's Daily Mail newspaper reports Qaddafi is set to ask the U.N. to abolish the Swiss nation, and share its land among neighboring countries. Qaddafi previously called Switzerland a "world mafia" that's not a state during the G8 Summit in July. His animosity towards the country stems from an incident last year in which his youngest son was arrested at a Geneva hotel for allegedly assaulting the staff.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry has called the latest threat a single-minded campaign against Swiss interests. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton called it typical Qaddafi.

— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.