Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Saddam Hussein (search) is refusing to accept the authority of the Iraqi court that is trying him, and he challenges the legitimacy of the new Iraqi government of which it is part. In that sense, he's not unlike The New York Times, which complained in an editorial Wednesday that the Saddam proceeding "…looks like a show trial, borrowing noxious elements of Baathist law to speed the way toward an early and popular execution."
Presumably that's a reference to the fact that the five-judge court can reach a verdict if its members are merely "satisfied" with the evidence rather than convinced beyond reasonable doubt. And besides, says the Times, Saddam is being tried first not for his worst crimes but for the one prosecutors believed was the easiest to prove.
And who's to blame for all this? The United States and what the Times calls the "narrow sectarian government" of Iraq. That would be the one elected last January.
This from the AP…
And then, there's this. "Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's (search) CIA leak inquiry is focusing attention on what long has been a tactic of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration: slash-and-burn assaults on its critics, particularly those opposed to the president's Iraq war policies."
Another New York Times editorial? Nope. A story from the Associated Press, under the byline of veteran AP reporter Tom Raum (search). The AP explained that this was not an ordinary news story, but a news analysis piece. But it was carried on the websites of such outlets as The Washington Post, Newsday and CNN with no such label. On CNN, there wasn't even a byline.
Paying the Price
One motel room: $59; two motel rooms: $120; 200,000 motel rooms a night? About $12 million. That's what it's costing the American Red Cross (search) to board people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. But the Red Cross says it's relieved because it initially thought it was paying for three times as many rooms under a housing contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (search).
However, the Red Cross today acknowledged that its staff members misinterpreted data assessing the number of evacuees it has put up in motel rooms. The organization sees the mix up as good news since the program, initially estimated to cost as much as $425 million dollars could ultimately cost as little as $220 million. The Red Cross is expecting FEMA to reimburse it for the balance.
Show or Political Advisors?
Amid suspicions that ABC's Oval Office drama, "Commander in Chief" is a Hillary Clinton (search) for president campaign ad in disguise, the list of Clinton confidantes molding the show is growing. Former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (search) and Al Gore senior aide Ron Klain are the latest Clintonites to be recruited by the show's producers. They'll join Hillary Clinton's social secretary and her former communications director who have already been working on the show.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report