Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Amnesty International says it has identified the "gulag of our times." Is it a prison in Uzbekistan? No. A labor camp in communist China? No. Why, it's Guantanamo Bay (search), which the group calls a total human rights failure. In a new report, Amnesty says the U.S. has "gone to great lengths to restrict the application of the Geneva Conventions ... entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law."
And, the report says, the U.S. has tried to "'re-define' torture ... to justify the use of coercive interrogation techniques."
Offered a ‘Special White House Tour’
Florida Republican Congressman Dave Weldon (search) has offered what he's dubbed a "special White House tour," led by himself, to supporters who give at least $5,000 to a Republican campaign group. In fact, a number of people have already signed up.
Only problem is, the White House has told Weldon he can't do such a thing, insisting it's "inappropriate" for any member of Congress to combine political fundraising with a tour of the White House. After all, the White House says, tours are free for everyone. Weldon now says he might have to take supporters to the Smithsonian, instead.
Lost One Man's Support
Bill Clinton (search) is reportedly considering a bid to become the next head of the United Nations. But he may have just lost support from one European. According to The Scotsman newspaper, a trendy restaurant in Rome, Agata e Romeo, received a call from a Clinton staffer this past week requesting an afternoon reservation for the former president, who was in town promoting tsunami relief efforts, and 17 others.
A waiter says a security team came to check out the place — and after it was all confirmed, the restaurant's owner cleared out a corner of the dining room, and ordered more than $1800 worth of extra food and wine for the big guests. But come reservation time, Clinton and his entourage never showed up. The waiter says the owner was "furious," and when he called Clinton's people, all they said was "Change of plan," and hung up.
Officials at Eagleville High School (search) in Tennessee have withheld a diploma from the school valedictorian after he gave what they insist was an offensive graduation speech. Senior Abe Stokla was to say: "You have given us the minimum required attention and education to master any station at any McDonald's anywhere. For that, we thank you. Of course, I'm only kidding. Eagleville is a fine institute of higher learning, with superb faculty and staff."
But before he could get to that last part, school officials turned off his microphone. They say he "implied that ... students did not receive a quality education." Stokla says he just wanted to give a funny, memorable speech.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report