Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Confirmation on Hold
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez has put the confirmation of Richard E. Hoagland — the Bush administration's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Armenia — on hold. Why?
Menendez said the move comes in response to the Bush administration's refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide and added: "As a leader and defender of democracy, it is our nation's responsibility to speak out against injustice and support equality and human rights. If the Bush administration continues to refuse to acknowledge the atrocities of the Armenian genocide, then there is certainly cause for great alarm, which is why I am placing a hold on this nominee."
The atrocities Sen. Menendez speaks of took place from 1915 to 1923.
There's a once rarely used legislative privilege now thriving in Congress.
In a culture where scrutiny of earmarks and other constant goodies is on the rise, post office naming is now the most common form of legislation.
According to the Congressional Research Service and analysis by The Hill newspaper, of 267 naming bills passed since the beginning of the 102nd Congress, 133 were sponsored by Democrats and 134 were sponsored by Republicans.
What's more, 89 such bills passed by the 108th Congress represented one in six public laws, and all but 10 of them originated in the House.
Plenty of Oil?
Speaking at an OPEC conference today, a top Saudi oil executive dismissed suggestions that the world is running out of oil.
The CEO of the state-owned Aramco oil company insisted the world has tapped only 18 percent of the total supply of crude and adds the world has the potential of 4.5 trillion barrels in reserves, enough to power the globe at current levels for another 140 years. The official challenged oil ministers and petroleum executives at the meeting in Vienna, Austria, to increase exploration.
Oil prices rose slightly today — reversing seven straight days of declines — but still remained below $64 dollars a barrel.
Weapons Test on U.S. Citizens?
Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has a new plan for U.S. non-lethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices: test them on American citizens before using them in battle.
The secretary insists domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns and adds: "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation, because if I hit somebody with a non-lethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.