And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
US and Britain: "Infidels and Crusaders?"
Prior to today's U.N. vote on the resolution on Iraq, Muslim clerics in Baghdad fiercely attacked the United States and Britain at Friday prayers. They urged Muslims to wage Jihad against the "infidels and crusaders." He argued that a war on Iraq would be a war on Islam. Sheikh Bakr Abdelrazzak Samaraei, ensconced at the Mother of All Battles mosque, screamed, "Bush: who are you, you little dwarf, to threaten (the prophet) Mohammad and the sons of Mohammad? Who are you, perverts of the world? Who are you sons of monkeys and pigs, to threaten the nation of Mohammad? Today...the Jihad is a must for every Muslim," the imam declared. "By God, we will defy you with our words and then our arms.... By God, we will defeat you and wipe you out." The imam did not mention that Saddam Hussein, by virtue of waging war on Kuwait, Iran and some of his own people, has killed more Muslims than anyone on the planet.
George's Mysterious Gifts...
President Bush answered more than 20 questions at yesterday's news conference, but ducked a parting query with a mischievous wink. A reporter asked what the president gave his wife for their 25th wedding anniversary. Actually, it was a momentous week for the first family. Mrs. Bush celebrated her 56th birthday Monday; the couple marked their silver anniversary the following day. Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer got into the act, too, telling reporters he could not reveal what the president gave his wife, saying, "That's super-duper top secret information." If so, we have another security leak on our hands. The Associated Press cites a White House source in reporting that the president gave his wife -- an avid bird watcher and nature lover -- a pair of high-tech binoculars for her birthday, and silver earrings with diamonds and sapphires for their wedding anniversary.
Bribery by Cookies?
The losing candidate in the race for a Colorado state House seat is complaining about the victorious incumbent's decision to provide cookies to election judges. Roman Coleman, a Republican who lost his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Rosemary Marshall, said the treats given to election judges in 55 precincts compromised the election. Coleman said, "Rosemary is the clear winner. The concern I have is the apparent failure of election officials to uphold Colorado law, and Rosemary Marshall's seemingly inappropriate behavior at polling locations." Marshall and her campaign volunteers delivered boxes of cookies to every polling place in the district, along with handwritten notes reading: "Thank you, Rep. Rosemary Marshall." If the cookies turned the tide, they must be reaaaaaallly good. Marshall won the election, 83 percent to 17 percent.