Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is blocking a confirmation hearing for a judicial nominee who is backed not only by the Bush administration — but by many prominent Democrats — reportedly because of his role in the Bill Clinton impeachment.
California Superior Court Judge Jim Rogan is up for a vacancy on federal district court. But The Wall Street Journal reports Boxer has given him what is called a "blue slip" — exercising her option to block a judicial nomination from her home state. Rogan was on the House Judiciary Committee in 1998 and helped present the case for impeachment to the senate. A Boxer spokeswoman says the senator is blocking the appointment because of what she call's Rogan's "out of the mainstream" policy views.
However, Rogan is supported by liberals such as former Representatives Pete Stark and Anna Eshoo. He is also backed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown — and some key members of the Clinton impeachment defense team. Even former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis tells The Washington Post — "this is a man who would make a great judge."
No Room for Heroes?
Organizers of Sandy, Utah's Festival of Trees have kicked out a display that honors the state's fallen war heroes. A woman who helped dedicate the soldiers tree says one of the festival organizers told her that the display did not deserve any more recognition than someone who had died in a car accident or passed away in a hospice. A local TV station reports festival chairwoman Edyth Hansen removed the tree from the main exhibit area because she said it was too tall — had more than one picture — and was not dedicated to children. Says Hansen — "Once you change the rules for one person you have change them for everyone."
However the TV station reports several trees still in the exhibit hall also feature multiple pictures, honor people other than children, and are of similar height to the soldiers' tree.
Saving the Planet
Predictions that Americans will have to radically alter their lifestyles in order to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions have been greatly exaggerated — according to a new report.
A business research group called The Conference Board says greenhouse gases can be cut by as much as half by 2030 — through the use of more efficient cars and appliances. It says about 80 percent of the reductions can be made using technologies already proven. The report recommends making appliances and buildings more energy efficient through things such as better heating and air conditioning — and the use of more insulation.
Meanwhile — another group says couples contemplating divorce may now want to stay together — not just for the kids — but for the planet. Research published in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences says more divorces mean more households — and significantly higher energy and resource consumption.
It says that in 2005 alone, divorced households in the U.S. used an extra 73-billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water compared to married households.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.