Russia Blasts U.S. for Human Rights Record

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Human Rights Record

Russia's foreign ministry is criticizing the U.S. for its human rights record.

It attacks President Obama for -- quote -- "legalizing indefinite and extra-judicial custody and the return of court-martials." It also laments the on-going operation of what it calls the "notorious" prison at Guantanamo Bay.

History students may recall former Russian leader Joseph Stalin is blamed for up to 60 million deaths.

The State Department says it may examine the Russian report.

Ethnic Studies Program

An administrative law judge in Arizona says the ethnic studies program in Tucson's public schools is illegal because it promotes activism against white people. The judge backed-up earlier findings about the Mexican-American curriculum from the state schools superintendent.

The judge wrote that the material was presented in a biased, political and emotionally charged manner.

Disaster Travel

If disasters are your thing, 2012 could be a fun year to travel.

Mexico says it expects 52 million tourists in the southeastern part of the country once occupied by the Mayan civilization. The end of the current Mayan calendar cycle has led many people to expect the end of the world next December 21st.

Titanic enthusiasts with an extra $59,000 are booking cruises that will retrace the route of the doomed ship. The voyage will include a memorial at the site of the collision with an iceberg, exactly 100 years to the minute from when it actually happened.

The Hard Way

Monday night, a Montana man upset that a hospital refused to give him painkillers for his back went to his car, got out his gun and shot himself in the ankle.

A hospital spokeswoman says the man was treated and stabilized.

Prosecutors in Miles City are considering charges.