Is Rep. Filner a Repeat Offender?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Repeat Performance

California Democratic Congressman Robert Filner's brush with the law Sunday at Washington's Dulles Airport is apparently not his first such experience. Filner, you may recall, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for a confrontation with an airline employee over Filner's baggage.

Now the Copley News Service is reporting that Filner tried to bully his way into a California immigration detention facility four years ago and officers there called local police for assistance. A Justice Department incident report says Filner tried to push his way past immigration officers after being denied immediate access to a detainee. A supervisor quotes Filner as challenging detention officers by saying, "Are you going to stop me, big man? Are you going to shoot me? Are you going to arrest me?"

The supervisor adds that Filner also said, "I am a congressman and can do whatever I want."

No charges were filed in this incident. The supervisor says Filner apologized on the way out. His office has not yet commented on this latest story.

Tough Times

The Council on American Islamic Relations is finally admitting what it has denied in the past: that it is losing members and struggling in fundraising. The Washington Times reports CAIR is blaming its troubles on the U.S. Justice Department. CAIR is listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in a case against a Muslim group accused of providing funds to the Hamas terror group. CAIR is asking a federal judge to take its name off that list.

IRS records indicate the group's membership declined more than 90 percent from 2001 to 2006. When The Times reported those figures in June, CAIR called the article "false and misleading" and said its membership was increasing steadily.

Long Arm of the Law

Chinese authorities are banning Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. The law goes into effect next month. It lists strict guidelines for the procedures by which a monk may reincarnate.

What's behind this is China's apparent desire to control who is named the next Dalai Lama, whose soul supposedly is reborn to a new carrier after the predecessor's death. The current Dalai Lama has said he will not be reborn in Tibet while it is under Chinese control. It is believed the situation could result in two Dalai Lamas: One named by the Buddhist monks, another by the Chinese government.

Book Talk

American Association of Publishers President Pat Schroeder has some thoughts about a new poll that indicates liberals read more books than conservatives and they are not flattering to conservatives. Schroeder is a former liberal Democratic congresswoman from Colorado.

She says, "The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: 'No, don't raise my taxes, no new taxes.' It's pretty hard to write a book saying, 'No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes' on every page."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto says Schroeder is "confusing volume with quality" and says, "Obfuscation usually requires a lot more words than if you simply focus on fundamental principles, so I'm not at all surprised by the loquaciousness of liberals."

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.