Al Gore's Claim About the Snow on Mount Kilimanjaro

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Snows of Kilimanjaro

Al Gore has made the disappearing snows of Mount Kilimanjaro a cornerstone of his crusade against global warming.

In his film "An Inconvenient Truth" for example, he says: "Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro."

But now researchers from the U.S. and Austria say global warming isn't the cause, and the fluctuations are nothing new.

American Science magazine reports most of the current snow retreat occurred before 1953 — nearly two decades before any conclusive evidence of atmospheric warming was available.

One of the scientists writes: "It is certainly possible that the icecap has come and gone many times over hundreds of thousands of years."

The article says the disappearance of Kilimanjaro's ice is not driven by warming air temperature, but by solar radiation — and that much of the ice is not melting, but vanishing by sublimation where ice at very low temperatures converts straight to water vapor.

Letters of Support

Barack Obama's hometown newspaper is reporting that he wrote letters to city and state officials nine years ago supporting political patron Tony Rezko's efforts to build apartments for senior citizens.

The Chicago Sun-Times writes the letters appear to contradict a statement last December where Obama said: "I've never done any favors for him."

Rezko was indicted last fall on federal charges that he demanded kickbacks from companies seeking state business.

Obama has admitted to what he called a "boneheaded" real estate deal with Rezko — calling it a "mistake."

And Rezko has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama's election efforts.

Obama's campaign press secretary says the Rezko letters were written in order to benefit the people who would live in the apartments Rezko sought to build.

Immigration Raid

Immigration officials in Portland, Oregon arrested about 165 people Tuesday — most of them illegal workers — along with managers who knowingly hired them and supplied them with false documents.

And Portland Mayor Tom Potter is unhappy — not about the crimes — but about the arrests.

His statement: "I am angered by this morning's arrest by federal officers of approximately 150 Portland residents who were working at a local produce company... To go after local workers who are here to support their families while filling the demands of local businesses for their labor is bad policy... My heart goes out to families dealing with the aftermath of this morning."

Information Station

Democrats who run the County Commission in Broward County, Florida want to cancel their contract with WIOD radio to serve as the "official" hurricane information outlet.

The station was originally picked because of its signal strength and its willingness to run emergency weather announcements in their entirety — with no preemptions.

But Commissioner Stacy Ritter tells the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that WIOD is out of step with area politics — because it airs Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — and FOX News Radio.

The station says its talk show lineup has no bearing on its news coverage. Programming director Ken Charles says: "It's a shame that people would let politics get in the way of saving lives in a hurricane."

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.