Who Should Qualify for Health Care Subsidies?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Kids Care

Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that would expand the reach of the federal program that feeds money to states to pay for poor children's health insurance.

But The Washington Times reports the Senate version would raise the eligibility ceiling on family income to about $62,000 a year for a family of four — three times the national poverty standard. New York state wants to raise its cutoff level to $83,000. These changes would put millions more children in the program.

And thousands of families who make enough to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax — designed for wealthy people — would also qualify for the government-subsidized health care.

Lowering the Bar

New minimum standards for incoming college freshman at Colorado's public universities are scheduled to go into effect next year, mandating four years of high school English, along with three years of math and science. But The Denver Post reports that some 3,000 freshmen would fail to meet those standards had they been in effect this fall.

So the state is now backing off: Postponing the new guidelines for a full year.

The Post reports that at one college in Denver, half the incoming freshmen would not qualify under the new rules. And it gets worse: A second set of upgrades would require four years of math and one year of a foreign language. That is set to take effect three years from now.

Terror Tryst?

FBI wiretaps have placed the current executive director of the Muslim civil rights group the Council on American-Islamic Relations at a meeting of alleged Hamas leaders several years ago.

An FBI agent testifying at a trial involving a Muslim charity linked to Hamas has revealed that CAIR's Nihad Awad was present when Hamas officials and supporters hatched a plot to disguise funds for suicide operations through the Holy Land Foundation.

Investors Business Daily reports CAIR is denying any tie to Hamas, saying that is an "urban legend" fed by what it called "the right-wing, pro-Israeli blogosphere."

Suffer the Children

John McCain was up the road a bit in Concord, New Hampshire this morning. He spoke to students at Concord High School. He talked about the usual things and then took some questions. One student soon suggested that the 71-year old McCain might be a little long in the tooth to be commander-in-chief.

McCain smiled and replied, "Thanks for the question, you little jerk. You're drafted."

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