Minority Leader Reid Faces More Heat for His Financial Decisions

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

"A Sweet Family Story"

The campaign staff of Senator Hillary Clinton says that more than 10 years after her original claim — it turns out she was not named after the famous mountain climber — Sir Edmund Hillary — after all.

A campaign spokeswoman has confirmed what has been suspected by many since 1995 — when after meeting with the first man to scale Mount Everest — Mrs. Clinton said her mother had told her she had read about Sir Edmund Hillary while pregnant in 1947 — and decided Hillary would be a nice name for her daughter.

The problem with the story is that Sir Edmund didn't become famous until 1953 — when Hillary Rodham was five-years-old. That didn't stop Bill Clinton from re-telling the tale in his biography.

But the senator's campaign now tells The New York Times "it was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter." The news is of particular embarrassment to The New York Times — which has repeatedly published the Hillary myth as fact — and did so as recently as six days ago.

Holiday Cheer

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is taking more heat today for his financial decisions. The Associated Press reports Reid used campaign donations to pay for holiday gifts for workers at his $750,000 Washington D.C. condo. Federal election law prohibits using campaign funds for any housing costs. Reid calls it a "clerical error" and is promising to reimburse his campaign.

Reid has also announced he is amending his ethics reports following an AP story that he did not properly account for a Las Vegas land deal that allowed him to collect more than a million dollars for property he had not personally owned in three years.

Great Britain and Guantanamo Bay

Great Britain and several other nations have been highly critical of the U.S. terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay — the British foreign secretary last week demanded that it be closed — but it turns out that almost no one — including Great Britain — will take in the prisoners that these nations want to see released.

The Washington Post reports British officials rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents back to the U.K. And The Post says virtually every country in Europe has refused to either grant asylum to Guantanamo prisoners or take them into custody.

“Height of Stupidity”

And the council in the east London town of Romford has spent almost $19,000 preparing a 300-page report aimed at finding out who was making sheep noises — who kept calling out "baaa" — during a planning meeting a year ago.

The Telegraph Online reports it happened during a discussion of whether a mobile home could be placed on a farm housing rare breeds of horses and sheep. The "baa"-ing upset one councilman so much he started an investigation — which is said to have narrowed down the list of suspects to four — including one man who is no longer on the council so couldn't be punished anyway.

Those under scrutiny will be interrogated by a subcommittee next month. One suspect calls the investigation "the height of stupidity" and says it is "an extremely expensive example of the worst kind of council bureaucracy."

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.