Qaddafi's Extreme Makeover

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Under the Knife

Even the casual observer can see that Muammar al-Qaddafi has looked a little different over the years. Now we know why. A Brazilian surgeon says the Libyan leader had some cosmetic surg ery back in 1995.

The doctor says he was taken to a secret bunker in Tripoli well after midnight for the four-hour procedure in which he removed fat from Qaddafi's belly and injected it into his wrinkled face. He says Qaddafi also got hair plugs.

The doctor adds the Libyan leader got hungry during the procedure so midway through, he stopped to have a hamburger.

Great Firewall

As unrest continues in Libya and throughout the Middle East, China appears to be trying to nip any protests in the bud.

The New York Times noted reports of interrupted cell phone calls, e-mail and Internet access.

In some cases, cell calls were cut off once the word protest was uttered twice. But one such conversation was about a dinner reservation in which one person quoted the famous line from Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much." Then the phone went dead.

So in China, even Shakespeare can get you in trouble.

Reid My Lips

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is biting the hand that feeds him while trying to drum up Democratic donations.

Politico reports he sent a fundraising e-mail on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or DSCC, and mentioned the billionaire Koch brothers who give to Republicans as part of his pitch to Democrats.

But the Koch's political action committee donated almost $200,000 to Democrats in 2010 and $30,000 specifically to the DSCC.

Records do show they donated about 10 times as much to Republicans.


Victory was "tweet" for British politicians. A parliamentary committee has recommended lawmakers be allowed to post Twitter updates from the House of Commons as long as it doesn't impair decorum.

They are urged not to tweet any messages that would be "disorderly" if actually said in the House.