Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Learn About Poverty
Monday we told you about John Edwards' work for a hedge fund — which he says was a way to learn how financial markets relate to poverty. Now the Washington Post is reporting that the company — Fortress Investment Group — is also heavily involved in the subprime lending business — offering the kind of high-risk mortgages to the poor that Edwards has loudly criticized as predatory.
Edwards says he was unaware of the connection — and says he can't remember what the firm told him about that part of their business when he signed on.
Meanwhile a researcher from Emory University has come up with a price tag on all the campaign promises Edwards is making — $125 billion/year.
The Associated Press reports that Edwards' plans on health care, energy and poverty reduction would add up to more than $1 trillion if he were president for two terms.
A spokesman for Baltimore's Public Works Department is in hot water after calling the city's newspaper to report that a billboard featuring Rush Limbaugh had been defaced. The Baltimore Sun reports that Robert Murrow called in the tip and said: "It looks great. It did my heart good."
As the story spread over the Internet, the idea of an official praising an act of vandalism generated more than 200 calls to the mayor's office. She quickly issued a statement saying the comments did not reflect official city position.
Murrow's supervisor called the comments "outrageous." Murrow issued a quick apology, too.
The billboard was taken down — but the radio station that airs Limbaugh says it might put it back up with paint splatters and all — along with the words — "what the liberal left doesn't want you to hear."
Some lawmakers say the store clerk who blew the whistle on the suspects in the Fort Dix terror plot may need immunity in order to avoid being sued.
New Mexico Republican Congressman Steve Pearce has authored so-called "John Doe" legislation that would protect whistleblowers in terror investigations from civil suits brought by the people they turn in. It was inspired by legal action from several Muslim clerics who were kicked off an airplane a few months ago after passengers became frightened of them.
In this case, the New Jersey clerk called authorities when the suspects dropped off a DVD for copying which showed them test-firing weapons, and calling for jihad.
The director of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy agrees on the need for some protection — telling The Washington Times — "What if this 'John Doe' had contrarily chosen to be silent due to a fear of litigation?"
Warning: Chicken Ahead
And a playwright in Britain has been told to give audiences advance warning that his one-man show features a roasted chicken — in order to avoid offending vegetarians. The Sun reports the play is a black comedy about a man's losing battle with obesity. Playwright Doug Devaney says: "I've heard of strobe lighting or nudity being a cause for audience concern but never roasted chicken. I'm happy to do it. I just find it weird."
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.