Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Russian reporters at that press conference in Bratislava may have said their pr ess is completely free, but back in Moscow, government officials have told weather forecasters to get it right, or else. Mayor Yury Luzhkov wants to fine weather reporters for inaccurate forecasts — and says he'll drop all government funding for Moscow's weather bureau unless it agrees to the proposal.
The mayor is angry that Moscow was ill prepared for what was the largest snowfall in its history last month and blames weather forecasters for predicting the storm would hit another day. The weather bureau argues that its reports are 94 percent accurate, but Luzhkov called the forecasts "tufta" — a word that translates roughly as "horse manure."
Expelled Despite Excellence
An 'A' student in the masters education program at Le Moyne College in New York has been expelled for writing a paper advocating a classroom based on strong discipline, including corporal punishment. The paper earned Scott McConnell an 'A-' and got him dismissed for what his department chair called a "mismatch" between his personal beliefs and the goals of the program.
McConnell, who carried a 3.78 grade point average the previous semester, says that LeMoyne had pledged to base his status on his academic performance, not his personal philosophy.
Post-ing a Complaint
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter says that the Washington Post "did a disservice to the truth" in a front-page article criticizing Donald Rumsfeld for walking out of a hearing early after deciding he'd "had enough."
Hunter says Rumsfeld hadn't "had enough," but had agreed to testify for three hours, and had to leave to attend another hearing, and that this was all understood ahead of time. What's more, The California Republican says Rumsfeld invited those committee members who hadn't asked questions to a private breakfast at the Pentagon.
Hunter says he sent a letter to the editor of the Post a week ago, but that it has yet to be published.
Madison, Wisconsin's own Fred Wayne Langetieg recently went to court to have his name legally changed. Was it "Fred" that bothered him? No. Wayne? Hardly. Langetieg? Not at all.
Langetieg so dislikes President Bush that he couldn't bear to share the same middle initial with the man he says is "dishonest." So he changed the "Wayne" to "Sigurd," in honor of his late father. Langeteig says he was a liberal who wouldn't have liked "W" either.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report