Not Rhinestones, Cowboy: President Bush Receives Silver Stirrups

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Positive Developments

The death of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq — along with the formation of a permanent government there — have Americans seeing the war in a more positive light. That according to the latest FOX News poll, in which 43 percent now say military action in Iraq will ultimately make the U.S. safer.

Seventy-one percent say Zarqawi's death has boosted their confidence in the U.S. military and intelligence capabilities and 38 percent called completing Iraq's new government a major victory.

But nearly half of Americans — 49 percent — believe Iraqi insurgents are more determined to win the war than the Iraqi government and its allies, while 40 percent say pro-government forces are more determined.

Not Rhinestones, Cowboy

President Bush received guns, knives, DVDs and a $15 paperback including advice on "How to Take a Punch" from fellow world leaders in 2004.

The State Department reports that the most expensive gift was a pair of silver stirrups accented with 18 karat gold and inlaid with rubies and emeralds from the King of Morocco. Perhaps the most useless: A total of 78 bottles of wine from the leaders of Georgia, Algeria and Tunisia. President Bush, of course, doesn't drink.

All of the gifts, including the book and movies from the famously wealthy Sultan of Brunei, will be stored for future display at the Bush presidential library.

Irish Inspections

Ireland says it's considering instituting random inspections of U.S. civilian aircraft after an Irish flight crew discovered a handcuffed Marine aboard a charter flight full of soldiers last week.

U.S. Ambassador James Kenny was immediately summoned to explain how officials failed to seek the government's consent for the transfer of a military detainee — which they say is required under international law. This after Ireland recently dismissed a report that the country helped the U.S. transfer terror suspects to secret prisons in Europe.

Foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern says Irish police will be "put on notice that perhaps they should start inspecting on a case-by-case basis."

Cynthia Vulnerable?

Despite the news that a grand jury has declined to indict Rep. Cynthia McKinney for allegedly punching a capitol police officer, one Georgia Republican thinks McKinney's "dismal legislative record and her outrageous behavior" have made her ripe for defeat in 2006.

Catherine Davis — who was soundly beaten by McKinney in 2004 — announced that she will oppose the Democratic Congresswoman in November, calling her an "embarrassment." But Davis, who is African American, acknowledges that success won't come easy in the district, which is heavily Democratic.

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