Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The State Department says the Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S. "might find his ability to move around the United States severely restricted" in the event of another attack on William Brownfield, the U.S. ambassador to that country.
Brownfield was donating baseball equipment to a poor neighborhood in Caracas on Friday when crowds of protesters descended on his convoy, beat on his car, then chased him off on mopeds, pelting the car with produce as he pulled away.
State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack accused the Venezuelan government of “petty thuggery" and intimidation — noting that the attack is the third against the ambassador in as many weeks. But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed Brownfield for "provoking" the confrontation and threatened to expel the ambassador from the country.
The Odd Couple
The president's so-called leak of classified intelligence information in 2003 has had a rare and unusual result — it has brought together the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal wrote that the president "has a right — even a duty — to set the record straight," adding, "Mr. Bush was divulging the truth."
And Sunday's Washington Post called the declassification, "A Good Leak," saying, "President Bush was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq ... to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons."
Officials at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan say they've tightened security after four Al Qaeda members escaped from the base last year, but that hasn't stopped thieves from smuggling out computer storage drives containing classified information.
The Los Angeles Times acquired several such drives at an Afghan market 200 yards from the base and reports that they contained deployment rosters identifying 700 U.S. service members and their Social Security numbers, along with classified briefings and documents naming "problem makers" in the Afghan government that the military is trying to remove.
Shop owners tell the Times that local workers steal the drives and other goods and smuggle them out of the base. A U.S. military official refused to comment on the incident.
Global Warning No More?
Could global warming be in remission? Australian geologist Bob Carter thinks so. Carter notes that since 1998, average temperatures across the globe haven't increased at all and, in fact, have dropped slightly. Carter says what he calls "climate scaremongering" is merely a "self-created political fiasco," writing in the London Telegraph that global warming devotees ignore the fact that the Earth got warmer between 1918 and 1940 — before worldwide industrialization — and cooled between 1940 and 1968 — during the height of the industrial era. His conclusion? The earth's climate changes naturally, and unpredictably, in cycles.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.