Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is lashing out at anti-Americanism among European politicians, s aying the world needs the U.S. to help solve pressing global problems.
In a pamphlet published by the British Foreign Policy Center, Blair argues that the "strain of, frankly, anti-American feeling in parts of European politics is madness when set against the long-term interests of the world we believe in."
"The danger," Blair warned, "is if they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage," adding "We need them involved."
Hugo Chavez: Conspiracy Theorist?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is siding with 9/11 conspiracy theorists, embracing the notion that the U.S. government itself might have been behind the terrorist attacks.
Before leaving for Havana to meet with leaders of nonaligned nations, Chavez extolled the theory "that it was the U.S. imperial power itself that planned and carried out this terrible terrorist deed against its own people... To justify its aggressions that promptly ensued against Afghanistan [and] Iraq."
Chavez added "The towers fell in nine seconds, so the hypothesis that the towers were blown up... is not so outlandish," saying the attacks, "gave the excuse to the U.S. empire to lash out with more wrath and fury against the world."
Times' Definition of Terrorists
The New York Times has refused to print the Pentagon's objections to an editorial asserting that the recent transfer of top Al Qaeda operatives means, "President Bush finally has some real terrorists in Guantanamo Bay."
Pentagon spokesman Dorrance Smith asked The Times for a correction, saying terrorists at the prison camp have included Usama bin Laden's personal bodyguards and Al Qaeda recruiters and calling the paper's assessment, "unfortunate."
But The Times declined to run the letter, much less issue a correction, explaining, "the phrase in question was meant to be somewhat lighthearted in tone."
Penn: Fascist President?
Hollywood star Sean Penn is suggesting that President Bush may bring fascism to the U.S. Promoting his new film based on the life of all-powerful Louisiana Governor Huey Long, Penn told Larry King that the film relates to a political figure today, saying "Huey Long said something very interesting. It was 'fascism will come to America, but likely under another name, perhaps anti-fascism.'"
Penn went on to call the president and Donald Rumsfeld "party clowns" who have done "enormous damage" to mankind, accusing them of beating the war drum to, "drown out the reality of what's really happening."
Penn insisted that, "No Democrat that doesn't have a plan to get our troops out of Iraq should be voted for," adding that Mr. Bush has "devastated our democracy."
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.