Grapevine: Fighting frivolous lawsuits

New York taxpayers on the hook?


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...


The World Health Organization (WHO) is admitting that -- contrary to an earlier report -- Greeks are not deliberately infecting themselves with HIV, in large numbers, to get government benefits.

Last month, the WHO wrote -- quote -- "HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of 700 euros per month --about $1,000 -- and faster admission on to drug-substitution programs."

Today, the WHO published a correction. The report's authors based the offending line on just a handful of cases mentioned in a medical journal study.

Frivolous Lawsuits

You might laugh at frivolous lawsuits -- like a woman in New York suing police for stopping her from killing herself -- but the group Lawsuit Reform Alliance wants New Yorkers to know they are paying for these lawsuits.

Here's a telling example.

A 220 pound former college football player -- who is now a teacher -- is suing the school district, saying he was beat up by a 50 pound first grader.

The teacher says he could not defend himself and if he did he'd have gone to jail, and the whole experience has left him humiliated and defamed.

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance asks why the school is responsible for the man getting kung fu from a first grader, and moreover, why taxpayers should be on the hook for it.

The city is fighting back -- unlike the teacher -- rather than settling lawsuits like this one.

Call It In

Finally, it's not easy being a one percenter.

A major donor to President Obama -- hosting a lavish fundraiser Monday night in Beverly Hills -– complained that when he had dinner at the White House recently, there was no valet parking.

President Obama took the chiding in stride and joked back at the donor that it was done on purpose to help him get a little exercise.