Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Scrambled to Confirm Story
When The New York Times on its Web site last Thursday broke the story that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (search) would go against President Bush and support expanding federally funded stem cell research, reporters frantically scrambled to confirm it. But Frist's office refused to comment, ensuring that The Times would keep its leaked exclusive until the next morning.
As for The Times, what sort of reaction did it get to the Frist decision? None from inside the Senate. And from outside the Senate, all positive.
President Bush, meanwhile, was notified by Frist after his decision had been leaked to the Times.
Racial Profiling, Please?
A Democratic assemblyman from New York City — where police have begun searching subway riders' bags at random to combat terrorism — is urging authorities to start using racial profiling (search) instead, calling random searches, "insane."
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says, "there is a terrorist profile for a potential suicide bomber and it's not the 75-year-old grandmother... who has an oversized tote bag firmly tucked under her arm."
He says police should be focusing on people of Middle Eastern descent, particularly younger ones. Hikind says he'll introduce legislation to remove legal obstacles to racial profiling.
CAFTA Already Getting Criticized
The Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA (search), is supposed to help U.S. friends in the region. Whether it will or not is already under attack from enemies down there.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez calls the agreement, "perverse," insisting, "it would harm the economies and societies... in our sister Central America."
What's more, Chavez — speaking on Venezuelan TV on Sunday — said U.S. congressmen approved CAFTA only because President Bush bribed and blackmailed them into it. He said he knows that from reports he's read, but wouldn't say where he read them, or offer any other specifics.
Sept. 11 Link in Fond du Lac?
The Reporter newspaper in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, says the peaceful, small town there may have a link to the 9/11 atrocities, reporting, "A Pakistani man who led a marriage scam in Fond du Lac is believed to be one of the plotters of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and an agent for Osama bin Laden (search), a senior special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said."
There's only one problem: The agent never said that. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, what he said was that the Pakistani man was an "applauder" of the 9/11 attacks and of bin Laden. Oops. The paper has reported the controversy over their story, but made no correction.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report