Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Cindy Sheehan (search) abruptly cut off an interview with National Public Radio (search) Monday, well before the segment was scheduled to end. For a couple minutes Sheehan answered questions about her mother's health and the life of her late son. But when host Neal Conan (search) asked her to describe her meeting with President Bush last year, she at first refused, saying she's talked about it enough. When Conan asked again, she told him she only had two minutes left for the interview.
She then gave a brief answer, and after another round of questions, told Conan she was having trouble hearing him, insisting, "We have a really bad connection ... It's very spotty cell service out here." A minute or so after that, just as she was being asked about past statements she's made, she said, "I have to go," and hung up.
As Told by the Times
Speaking of Sheehan, The New York Times reported, "[President] Bush has been careful not to go on a direct attack against [her] ... Still, he said last week that protesters like her were weakening the United States and emboldening terrorists."
But the president has never said any such thing. In fact, what he said last week was that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, which some protesters have called for, would weaken the United States and embolden terrorists. He did not accuse protesters of weakening the country.
Pardon for Current and Former Co-Workers
Kentucky Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher (search) has issued a blanket pardon for current and former members of his administration, excluding himself, who are charged by a special grand jury with personnel violations — potentially short-circuiting what he claims is a politically motivated investigation run by a Democratic attorney general against his administration.
So far nine people have been charged with violating a law that forbids hiring people for state jobs based on their politics, rather than their qualifications. Fletcher says mistakes were made, but only by "some of our overeager young managers."
So, he says, "In order to bring closure, I am ... exercising [my] power ... to grant amnesty." As for why he's not including himself, he says, "I will not be intimidated." Appearing before the grand jury today, he took the Fifth Amendment (search).
Percentage Voting in October
In a new poll out of Iraq, 88 percent of those polled say they will participate in October's scheduled vote for a new constitution. The same number say the vote should be held under current conditions in Iraq.
What's more, in the poll published in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Hayat (search), 84 percent say they support giving women the same rights and benefits as men. However, 66 percent say they want Islam to be the primary, or the only, source of legislation in Iraq. And only a quarter say they support the concept of federalism.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report