Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Bill Clinton told Chris Wallace during their int erview on "FOX News Sunday" that he had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban and launch a full-scale search for Usama bin Laden after the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
But Michael Scheuer, who led the CIA effort to get bin Laden, is telling a different story. Scheuer says in The New York Daily News that plans for an invasion were never presented or discussed in his presence. And he says the only order he received following the attack on the Cole was to come up with a target list for air strikes. He also says Mr. Clinton had 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden before 9/11, but the president did not use the information he was given.
Iran reportedly is close to a deal with European Union negotiators to stop its uranium enrichment for 90 days in order to avoid the possibility of economic sanctions. But one of the conditions for the agreement is that the suspension be kept secret.
U.S. officials are said to be split over the proposal. Some folks in the State Department say any deal should be made public because keeping the suspension secret would be difficult. And they might have a point. We found the story on the front page of The Washington Times.
The Fat Lady Sang
One of Berlin's leading opera houses is pulling the plug on the 225-year-old Mozart opera "Idomeneo" because a scene features the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus —- and Muhammad.
The opera house director says Berlin police warned her of a possible threat because of the Muhammad depiction. No mention was made of any repercussions from outraged Christians or Buddhists. Germany's interior ministry called the decision to cancel the opera “crazy.” And Berlin's mayor says it is a mistake. The leader of Germany's Turkish community says Muslims should, "learn to accept certain things."
“Art,” he said, "must remain free."
Not 'Whacking Democrats by Name'
And there is a new and highly unusual face on the rubber chicken and mashed potato political fundraising circuit — White House press secretary and former FOX News commentator Tony Snow. Snow has been booked for about a half-dozen fundraisers in the final month before the midterm elections — something that a press secretary doesn't normally do.
White House political director Sara Taylor calls Snow "a great messenger who is very funny, who is very affable and who people like to be around." Snow says he won't be "whacking Democrats by name." He says he'll talk instead about what President Bush has accomplished. And as far as spreading himself too thin, Snow says “if there's a conflict between that and my day job, then the day job wins."
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.