The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Report Bluntly Contradicts Bush?
The Associated Press leads off its story on a new 9/11-commission report by saying the document -- "bluntly contradict[s] the Bush administration" by claiming to have no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In fact, the Bush administration has never said that such evidence exists. President Bush denied a connection to 9/11 as recently as last September, saying -- "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th."
Bush went on to say, -- "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties" -- an assertion that the commission's report actually supports.
We told you yesterday about ethics charges filed in the House of Representatives against Majority Leader Tom DeLay, accusing the congressman from Texas of trading campaign contributions for legislative favors and laundering money to illegally help Republican candidates.
Now the Houston Chronicle reports that one of Delay's most outspoken critics in the House, Texas Democrat Martin Frost, is being investigated by prosecutors in that state for allegedly funneling illegal corporate contributions to Democratic candidates.
Frost's spokesman called the accusations of wrongdoing a malicious attempt to help Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, Frost's opponent in November's election.
Bulldozed by the U.N.
The United Nations is warning Illinois heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar that selling its product to Israel could constitute a human rights violation. In a letter to the company, Jean Ziegler, the U.N.'s special expert on the right to food, writes that Israel's use of Caterpillar bulldozers to raze homes in Palestinian territories -- "might involve complicity or acceptance on the part of your company to actual and potential violations of human rights."
The warning is the first issued under a new U.N. resolution that extends responsibility for protecting rights to -- "non-state actors."
Animal rights demonstrators got a cold reception when they staged a protest at Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn's residence. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that several neighbors confronted the small crowd and began pelting protesters with water from oversized squirt guns known as Super Soakers.
A spokesman for the group claimed that they were demonstrating peacefully when -- "some of Hahn's neighbors came out and got raucous." But he acknowledged that the protesters, some of whom arrived wearing masks and toting bullhorns, might have been seen as a threat by Hahn's neighbors -- one of whom told the Daily News -- "they're lucky it was just water."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report