Rudy Giuliani Hears From Upset 9/11 First Responders

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Ground Zero

Republican presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is taking some criticism over statements made Thursday about the aftermath of 9/11.

He told reporters — "I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to."

A New York City fire captain whose son — also a firefighter — was killed in the attacks said — "That's insulting and disgraceful. He's a liar. I was down there on my hands and knees looking for my son. [Giuliani is] living in a dreamland."

A Queens paramedic who was a first responder added — "I personally find that very, very insulting. Standing there doing a photo-op and telling the men, 'You're doing a good job,' I don't consider that to be working."

Today — Giuliani said he misspoke — was trying to empathize with first responders — and was not trying to compete with them.

Fact Check

The man behind the Web site has forced NASA to admit it was wrong when it said that 1998 was the hottest year on record. Steve McIntyre had to reverse engineer NASA's figures — because the agency refused to give him the formula it used to make the claim.

And McIntyre found out NASA had made a serious mistake. NASA eventually agreed, and now says 1934 was the hottest year — followed by 1998 — and 1921. In fact — five of the hottest 10 years on record occurred before World War II.

Global Warming Taxes

Michigan Democratic Congressman John Dingell — who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee — plans to introduce legislation to fight global warming that includes a 50-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline — and the elimination of mortgage tax deductions on houses larger than 3,000 square feet.

Dingell admits the ideas are not popular. "I know I'm going to catch hell for them," he says. "If we are serious about global warming, we need to reduce consumption by making it more expensive."

Cybercast News reports critics are calling the ideas "ill-informed, misguided, and economically detrimental."

Pork Report

The Club for Growth advocacy group has released its report on how members of Congress voted for 50 amendments designed to reduce or cut excessive spending — also called "pork" — from appropriations bills.

The highlights — 16 members voted for all 50 anti-pork measures. All 16 are Republicans. 105 members had a perfect score the other direction — voting against all of the anti-pork amendments. All of those 105 were Democrats.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey did not even vote for his own amendment to strike all earmarks in all appropriations bills.

The Democrat who was the strongest supporter of the anti-pork movement was Tennessee's Jim Cooper — who voted for all but one of the measures.

Only one of the 50 anti-pork amendments passed — that one from Arizona Republican Jeff Flake.

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