Between a Dock and a Hard Place

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Dock and a Hard Place

The Obama administration is taking more criticism for its delayed ferry rescue of Americans stranded in Libya because the evacuees were told they'd need to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the trip. Some Americans aboard the U.S. chartered ferry, docked for three days because of severe winds and high seas, said they felt like -- quote -- "sitting ducks" unsure if snipers would take aim at the ferry. The center of the Libyan protests was not far from the dock.

HotAir.com writes -- quote -- "[President] Barack Obama has an interesting set of priorities. No one in America should go broke paying for health care. On the other hand, Americans who need rescuing from other countries had better be prepared to pay retail."

Now, it is standard practice for the government to ask for reimbursement during evacuations. There is even a form that clearly includes a promise to repay. But the "sitting duck" description by passengers is not standard.

Bosom Buddies?

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan is not shying away from Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi despite the hundreds of protester deaths blamed on Qaddafi's regime in recent days.

Farrakhan didn't get into specifics about the uprisings during a four-hour speech, but said that Qaddafi has always been a friend and that no leader has been loved by 100 percent of his people.

Farrakhan also said if Qaddafi is prosecuted for crimes against humanity, former President George W. Bush should be too.

Potty Problems

And finally, San Francisco is learning a lesson in unintended consequences after its push for environmentally friendly low-flow toilets resulted in sludge backup and a rotten egg smell in some parts of the city.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the city has spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system. Officials will also need to dump 8.5 million pounds of bleach into the water supply each year, which, as the article points out, not everybody thinks is a good idea.

San Francisco's annual water consumption, however, is down by about 20 million gallons.