Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Two Sides to Every Story?
If you ever doubted that what you know depends on what you read, consider this: The New York Times reports today that Republican senators had expressed “new doubt” about Harriet Miers (search) for the Supreme Court, and that their "drumbeat of doubt" had grown louder. The Times based that on a comment from Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions (search) who said he was "uneasy,” but he said that was because some "conservative people are concerned about the nomination."
The Washington Times, meanwhile, reports that Senate Republicans are dismissing conservative criticism of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.
Ohio Judiciary Committee Member Mike DeWine (search), a Miers supporter, called the attacks on her "absurd" and Idaho's Republican Larry Craig (search) said, "It's awfully hard to be critical of something you know nothing about."
The president's choice to be the new Pentagon spokesman may never make it out of committee if Senator Carl Levin (search) has his way. The Michigan Democrat claims that J. Dorrance Smith (search) called U.S. TV networks "aiders and abettors" of terrorism in a Wall Street Journal article calling Smith's comments "over the top" and "unacceptable." But Smith, who served as a media adviser in Baghdad, never quite said that.
Instead, his article last April called into question the U.S. TV networks practice of using footage provided by the Arab network Al-Jazeera (search), which he said had a cozy relationship with terrorists that resulted in their getting tape of terrorist attacks and hostage killings, which Al-Jazeera would immediately air, with U.S. networks quick to follow suit, making them in effect, strong partners with Al-Jazeera.
In his speech Thursday, John Kerry criticized the Bush administration for failing to heed the advice of the now departed Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki (search), who said the Iraq operation would require more troops than the Pentagon had committed. They should have listened to him, Kerry said, "They chose not to. They were wrong."
Later in the speech, Kerry approvingly quoted Army General George Casey (search) who said our large military presence "feeds the notion of occupation” and “extends the amount of time that it will take for Iraqi security forces to become self-reliant." Added Kerry, "It is essential to acknowledge that the insurgency will not be defeated unless our troop levels are drawn down."
As Opinionjournal.com noted, Kerry seems in his speech to have been for more troops before he was against them.
Two British banks have banned that little pink symbol of savings, the piggy bank, from advertisements and promotions because it could offend some Muslims. Islam preaches that pigs are impure animals and Muslims are forbidden from eating pork.
Local Muslim leader Salim Mulla (search) applauded the decision, saying, "This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers." But Muslim Parliament Member Khalid Mahmoud (search) calls the piggy-bank ban ridiculous, saying, "I doubt many Muslims would be seriously offended by piggy banks."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report