Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Heat Is Off
A researcher at Russia's oceanology institute says global warming has peaked — and the planet is now headed for a cooling period that will last through the end of the century.
Oleg Sorokhtin is a fellow of the Russian academy of natural sciences. He writes in an article for the Russian news and information agency that a cold spell will set in by 2012. H believes an even colder period will begin as solar activity reaches a minimum in 2041 — and that it will last 50 to 60 years.
Sorokhtin says warming and cooling are entirely natural processes — independent of human activity. He says the current warming trend is due to changes in things like solar activity, ocean currents, and salinity fluctuations in Arctic waters.
Meanwhile, British weather experts say 2008 will be the coolest year since 2000 because of a drop in sea surface temperatures off the western coast of South America — known as La Nina. But they say this year will still be one of the 10 hottest years on record.
The energy bill signed by President Bush last month aims to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs in favor of the more efficient compact fluorescent or CFL bulbs by the year 2014. But some people say the CFL bulbs are a health risk.
British media report the bulbs have been linked to increased migraines, epileptic seizures and dizziness. One group says the bulbs can cause eruptions of existing skin problems and may even lead to skin cancer. And people with the immune system disease lupus say the bulbs cause them pain and extreme tiredness.
An incumbent leader loses an election but refuses to relinquish power — saying he will "rule from exile" — even as the new man is sworn in. his is not some third world country.
It's the city of Anderson, Indiana. Supporters of outgoing Republican Mayor Kevin Smith have filed a lawsuit challenging the election of Democrat Kris Ockomon — who was inaugurated and moved into office this week.
Smith says it is his constitutional duty to remain in power until the courts rule on the lawsuit — so he'll work out of his house. The challenge involves whether Ockomon met residency requirements to run for mayor.
One Anderson social worker says — "What are they fighting for? This poor town has been heading downhill since General Motors pulled out. It's kind of a dying town."
And the mayor of Oklahoma City is undertaking an ambitious city project and leading from the front. Republican Mick Cornett wants citizens to lose one million pounds — after Oklahoma City made one magazine's list of the fattest cities in the country.
The 5'10" Cornett has gone from 217 pounds to 183 — and says he still has eight pounds to shed.
The city has set up a Web site encouraging residents to sign up to lose weight. So far about 2,600 people have joined. Their total losses to date — 300 pounds, but it's early.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.