Hearing It from the Troops

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Senator Ted Kennedy, who's called for the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay to be closed down, got an earful from troops on his visit to the facility last week. The Massachusetts Democrat has called the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo a stain on America's reputation, after Illinois Senator Dick Durbin compared practices at the camp to those used in Soviet gulags. But Pentagon sources say soldiers from Kennedy's home state told him to cut out the criticism.

One Pentagon official told The Washington Times "The troops down there expressed their disdain for that kind of commentary, especially comparisons to the gulag." Kennedy could not be reached for comment.

Political Pressure

A New York elementary school teacher who says her principal made her remove a picture of President Bush from her classroom, is suing her former school district, claiming she was forced to resign for her political views. Jillian Caruso says the principal, who's married to a Democratic assemblyman, disapproved of Caruso's volunteer work for the Republican Party and later became outraged over a picture of President Bush hanging among other presidential portraits in her classroom.

Caruso removed the photograph, but the principal later threatened to fire Caruso if she didn't resign. Caruso is seeking unspecified damages and a reappointment to her prior teaching post.

Criminal Art?

A London performance artist whose previous works include sitting in a bathtub full of baked beans has a new project that could land him in hot water. Mark McGowan started "The Running Tap" when he turned on the faucet in a London kitchen and he says he won't turn it off for an entire year.

McGowan calls it a protest against wasted water. But 200,000 gallons have already gone down the drain during the city's driest season in 30 years. The water company says that if McGowan won't turn off the tap, they'll be forced to prosecute him for belligerently wasting water.

‘Offensive’ Display

And more from the wonderful world of art: Colorado Governor Bill Owens, a Republican, is calling a state-funded sculpture of sex toys "offensive" after residents complained about its prominent spot on a government website. Artist Tsehai Johnson received a $5,000 grant from the state for her work, which she calls "Large Implements on Hooks." She says those implements are "meant to be sex toys... that are talking about a lot of issues."

But Governor Owens says the art is "in extremely poor taste," and should never have received public funds. The sculpture has since been removed from the site.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report