Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Office "Insulted" Over Suggestion?
Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s office says its, "disappointed and insulted" that in order to get an interview with Allawi this past week, producers at ABC News (search) suggested, "Not giving Peter Jennings (search) an interview equates to the prime minister not being caring about American soldiers or being grateful for the United States’ leading role in the coalition.
In a letter to ABC, an Allawi spokesman says the prime minister, "could not have been clearer about his views on U.S. sacrifices over the past year and more." Adding, "I can now confirm that the prime minister will not be available for an interview with ABC over the elections period. I look forward to a more constructive exchange and a more mature relationship with ABC once this election period is over."
ABC News called the whole thing a " misunderstanding."
Disabled Child Directed To Do It?
One of the suicide bombers sent to polling site in Iraq yesterday was a child with Down syndrome (search), according to Iraq’s interior minister, who says it’s, "An indication of what horrific actions the terrorists are carrying out." He gave no other details about the attack, but police at the scene of the Baghdad blast said the bomber there appeared to have Down syndrome.
This just days after an anti-coalition fighter condemned fellow insurgents for trying to turn him into a suicide bomber without his acknowledge. The man said he parked an explosives-packed truck near the Jordanian Embassy (search) last month on orders from above. But before he could get out others watching from afar detonated explosives, killing at least nine Iraqis. He survived.
Doodles From Davos Forum
British newspapers have been abuzz over a notepad filled with doodles left on British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s desk at last week’s Davos World Economic Forum (search). The London Times quoting a handwriting expert said the doodles showed Blair is, "aggressive, obsessive, compulsive with more than a hint of megalomania."
The Independent, quoting its own expert, said Blair is "full of nervous energy." The London Mirror said Blair is "sensitive to his image," and made fun of him for misspelling the name of a Brazilian city. The problem is Blair didn’t draw the doodles. His office says they were the work of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who shared a table at the forum with Blair at the forum. Oops.
Spelling Bee — Too Competitive?
Rhode Island’s Lincoln School District called off it annual spelling bee, insisting that because spelling bees have winners and losers they violate the No Child Left Behind Act (search), which says all students should reach high standards. Lincoln’s assistant superintendent of schools quoted by the "Woonsocket Call" newspaper says, "You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids so they believe they’re all winners." The former host of the spelling bee, however, said that’s nonsense since spelling bees are, "Just a fun time." And the school district now tells FOX it won’t cancel the spelling bee after all.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report