Rep. Kucinich Lost in Translation?

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Lost in Translation

Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich is blaming mistranslations for a Syrian news report that quoted him as praising President Bashar Assad.

Kucinich was on what he called a fact-finding mission to Syria.

State-owned media quoted him as saying -- quote -- "There are some who want to give a wrong picture about what is going on in Syria...President al-Assad is highly loved and appreciated by the Syrians." Kucinich did go on to reference violence in Syria. Assad's government has been blamed for at least 1,400 deaths during pro-democracy protests.

Kucinich says the article contained -- quote -- "...a number of mistranslations and mischaracterized statements."

It's unclear how a mistranslation could have occurred since Kucinich speaks English and the article was written in English.

Funeral Flap

Some veterans groups are alleging religious censorship during funeral services at the Houston National Cemetery.

Three organizations say the cemetery's director -- and the Veterans Affairs Department-- have banned them from saying "God" and "Jesus" and that prayers have to be submitted for approval.


MARILYN KOEPP, NATIONAL MEMORIAL LADIES: We were told we could no longer say "God bless you" and "God bless your family."


An assistant U.S. attorney has reportedly said some claims are true and some are not.

Gun Control

Finally, the Seattle Police Department says it is very embarrassed after an assault rifle was accidentally left on the back of a patrol car while police were on duty.

When officers were made aware of the mistake, a witness said they were -- quote -- "shocked as hell."

The department calls it unacceptable and has begun an investigation.