Black Conservatives Not Happy With Rep. Frank's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Remarks

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

"Ethnic Cleansing"

Some conservative African-Americans are criticizing Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank for characterizing the post-Katrina reconstruction as a type of "ethnic cleansing" by Republicans. Cybercast News Service reports Frank said: "What they (Republicans) recognize is they're in this happy position for them where if the federal government does nothing, Louisiana will become whiter and richer...they get the hurricane to do the ethnic cleansing and their hands are clean."

Niger Innis of theCongress of Racial Equality says that if a Republican had made a similar statement "it would have been on the front page of The New York Times... and Katie Couric would do a special segment on it."

And Michael Massie, national chairman of the conservative black group Project 21, says Frank's comments were "as reprehensible and as insulting as anything he has said or done in his "'debaucherous'(sic) career."

New Travel Rules

Language in the House's new ethics package would prohibit members of Congress from traveling on any non-government aircraft — including their own planes. The proposed rule says "members may not use personal funds, official funds or campaign funds for a flight on a non-government airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire."

But the FAA doesn't license airplanes at all — only pilots and carriers. Roll Call Newspaper reports that Republican Darrell Issa of California wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for a change.

Democrats say the rule would be interpreted correctly — and not literally. But republicans are pushing for Democrats to fix the language — since many members rely on airplanes to travel within their districts.

Out to Lunch

A man in London died after two ambulance crews did not come to his aid — because they could not be recalled from lunch breaks due to European Union rules. Media reports say the man collapsed five minutes from the ambulance station. But the ambulance did not come for at least 20 minutes and he died en route to the hospital.

An official with the ambulance service confirmed crews were on break at the time. EU rules prohibit personnel from being called out during the first 20 minutes of their 30-minute breaks.

Idiots Vote?

Ad the state of New Jersey could soon make it legal for idiots to vote. Democratic State Senate President Richard Codey wants to remove language in the state constitution that says, "no idiot or insane person should enjoy the right of suffrage."

Codey says the term "idiot" is "outdated, vague and offensive." He says some people with cognitive or emotional disabilities might be able to vote. The prohibition has been in the state constitution for 150 years.

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