Pregnant Pigs Spark Passion

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Aljazeera Interview

The State Department publicly supported Alberto Fernandez after he apologized for making anti-American comments on the Arab network Aljazeera last Friday. But now it appears it was not the first time he'd done it.

The National Review Online says that Fernandez gave another interview to Aljazeera on September fifth — and said: "We should admit that there's an American haughtiness and stupidity." He also says the U.S. made "a lot of mistakes" in the Middle East. And he adds: "Today, no doubt, Americans ... are trying intentionally to encourage hell in the Arab world."

Voter Registration Fraud?

Federal authorities in Kansas City are investigating suspected voter registration fraud tied to the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now" — known as ACORN. Election officials say there are at least 15,000 registration cards with problems such as questionable information, and bogus names, addresses and social security numbers.

ACORN — which is associated with liberal causes — is also under scrutiny for similar problems in St. Louis and several other states. ACORN is blaming the errors on what it calls "honest mistakes." But the group's national spokesman admits some of its paid employees may have turned in false registration cards to make it appear they were actually working.

ACORN's work in Missouri is tied to its support for a ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage.

Pork Policy

While Iraq and the economy appear to be the big issues driving the elections around the country — in Arizona there is an issue that has sparked passion, big money campaigning and big name endorsements — what to do about pregnant pigs. Proposition 204 would require bigger, more comfortable pens for pregnant pigs.

Groups on both sides of the issue have spent about a million dollars each. Proponents are airing undercover video showing cramped conditions. And they have recruited legendary Sheriff Joe Arpaio and equally legendary radio personality Paul Harvey to their cause.

Opponents have their own video — and a study that disputes a claim that pregnant sows in cramped pens produce piglets that exhibit higher levels of stress. Billboards by opponents call the referendum "hogwash."

“Paris Syndrome”

And some Japanese tourists who go to Paris are so shocked by the unfriendly Parisians and scruffy streets that they need psychological counseling. A French newspaper says about a dozen a year are driven to seek help.

A psychologist says a third get better immediately, a third suffer relapses, and the rest have psychoses. Extreme examples include two women who believed their hotel room was bugged and there was a plot against them, a woman who thought she was being attacked by microwaves, and a man who became convinced he was really Louis XIV.

The phenomenon is called "Paris Syndrome" and was first detailed in a French psychiatric journal two years ago.

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