Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Stars & Swipes

The Fourth of July is again proving to be a difficult time for some on the American left who are uncomfortable with the flag-waving of those, who unlike them, admire America.

Robert Scheer at The Nation — the self described "flagship of the left" — calls Independence Day "Oil Dependence Day" saying, "Only in an America dumbed down by constant propaganda about our innate moral superiority will anyone any longer believe that we didn't invade Iraq for the oil."

And Matthew Rothschild, editor of the left-wing magazine The Progressive, says he's no patriot because, "Patriotism has done more to stack the corpses millions high in the last 300 years than any other factor."

And columnist Chris Satullo, former editorial page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, writes in that paper, "This year America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement. For we have sinned."


The bad mood on the American left has not been helped this week by Barack Obama's conversion on terrorist surveillance.

The founder of the liberal Web blog the Daily Kos says he held back a contribution of $2,300 to Obama's campaign because the senator "reversed course and capitulated on FISA" — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The blog adds that Obama took a swipe at another liberal organization, MoveOn.org, during his patriotism speech and that, "There is a line between moving to the center and stabbing your allies in the back."

And, the founder of the liberal Web site Firedoglake.com told the New York Times that Obama's switch on FISA is what she called "a real character problem."

Green Team

Anna Hartridge and Matt George are so concerned about the environment that when they bought their home in Sacramento, California, they made sure they were close enough to work that they could ride their bikes. The Sacramento Bee reports the couple also installed solar panels, bought a hybrid car and started drying their laundry on a clothesline.

So when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought on June 4, they decided it was only right to let their front lawn die to save water.

But the brown grass irked a neighbor, who complained to the city, and the Code Enforcement Department slapped the family with a citation and is threatening a $746 fine unless they fix it. The couple has been told their home is a public nuisance and is in violation of a code that says front yards should be irrigated, landscaped and maintained.

Floridian Filcher

And finally, a Florida couple returned to a house they own in Ocala, Monday, to find that it had been burglarized. Fred and Betty McAteers went back the following day and decided to walk around the neighborhood to see if anyone knew anything about the theft.

During their walk, they noticed their dresser was being sold in a yard sale on the front lawn of a nearby apartment building. They called police, and the man who was selling the dresser was arrested. He has been charged with residential burglary and dealing in stolen property.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.