And now some fresh pickings from the grapevine:
For the first time -- and despite Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's claims to the contrary -- an active senior Army general is insisting that the U.S. army is too small and must be substantially increased if it is going to meet its global commitments.
Lt. Gen. John Riggs (search), quoted in the Baltimore Sun, says that after a year of studying U.S. military strategy for homeland security, major combat operations and peacekeeping operations, he has determined -- "We're not shaped and sized to meet all the commitments we're asked to do." So, he says, increasing the Army would be expensive, but it is necessary.
Gen. Wesley Clark (search) is now the fourth Democratic presidential candidate to be featured in the gay magazine: The Advocate. In the newest issue, Clark -- who served in the military when the Clinton administration implemented the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy -- says the policy should now be dismantled because -- "[gay servicemen and women] ought to have the right to be who they are. They shouldn't have to conceal their identities."
Responding to a question about gay marriage, he said -- "marriage is a term of art. ...(he continues) .. If [a state] says we're going to form a civil union but we're going to call it marriage, then as far as I'm concerned, that's marriage."
An Appeal-ing Appearance
An appeals court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has ruled that a gay man accused of buying drugs cannot be charged because the undercover officer who approached him was too good looking and, therefore, entrapped him. At a local establishment two years ago, the undercover cop asked Julio Blanco if he likes to -- "party." Blanco says he first took "party" to mean sex, but was eventually persuaded by the undercover officer to buy Methamphetamines (search).
Blanco says -- "[the officer] was a very attractive man." Furthermore, the court says, the officer -- "instigated and promoted" Blanco to buy the drugs.
Working Hard, or Hardly Working?
And finally, If you were with us at this time last night -- you'll remember that Brit told you about a BBC report about a tax officer in Finland who died at his desk. The report went on to detail how none of his coworkers noticed the dead guy for two whole days. His coworkers, the BBC said, just assumed he was silently poring over tax returns. Well, it turns out the whole thing is in fact an urban legend that's been around for at least three years. Snopes.com, which specializes in researching urban legends, says this one is definitely "false."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report