Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
People are complaining about FEMA (search) red tape. But a new report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (search) shows that over the past five years FEMA has given $330 million to communities with only minor, if any, damage from natural disasters.
Among the recipients, Detroit residents were given more than $168 million for a 2000 rainstorm that didn't affect areas inside the city. Following a 2003 storm in Cleveland, residents there received more than $41 million, after some dragged old clothes and furniture into their basements, claiming the items were damaged by flooding. And in 2003 Los Angeles residents were given more than $5 million for wildfires that burned 25 miles away.
A ‘Sharp Drop In Turnout’ Reported
After yesterday's landmark parliamentary elections in Afghanistan (search), some European media are reporting a "sharp drop in turnout" from last year's presidential elections there. The BBC (search) says turnout was down more than 20 percent, and the Scotsman newspaper says, "evidence that turnout was sharply lower than in last year's presidential vote undermined celebrations of the polling as a key step toward stability."
But these reports fail to mention that in the U.S., like in many other western Democracies, voter turnout falls even more during midterm elections, generally going from more than 50 percent during presidential elections to just over thirty percent in mid-term years, about a 30 per cent drop.
Sorry For Iraq?
A group of senior bishops from the Church of England (search) is urging their organization to apologize to Muslims (search) for the war in Iraq, insisting that since the British government won't say it's sorry, a "truth and reconciliation commission" of religious leaders could offer a "public act of institutional repentance."
In a report on the post-9/11 world, the Church of England's House of Bishops says that although coalition troops can't withdraw from Iraq now, there needs to be some recognition of "the long litany of errors" by the West leading up to the war.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report