Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A federal judge in Brooklyn has ruled that New York Times reporter Alex Berenson was "deeply involved" in a scheme to "illegally obtain" and distribute internal documents from drug-maker Eli Lilly. Judge Jack Weinstein, a famously liberal jurist, called Berenson's conduct "reprehensible." Berenson and his partners found a way to circumvent a protective order sealing the documents by having them subpoenaed for another case. The judge said that was just a "pretense".
Berenson then told his co-conspirators that he would publish the documents only if the Times got them exclusively. Berenson declined an invitation to testify. And the Times says the judge's decision "vastly overstates" the reporter's role.
The bickering between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has begun. The New York Daily News reports Obama has belittled Clinton's support of a cap on troops in Iraq — saying he wants a complete withdrawal by next year. The Clinton camp says she is in favor of what it calls a "phased redeployment" — which means a withdrawal — and that Obama is trying to hoodwink people into thinking she is not for a pullout.
Meanwhile, two key black leaders in South Carolina say they will support Clinton — not Obama. Democratic state Senators Darrell Jackson and Robert Ford say Clinton is the only Democrat who can win the presidency. Ford says of Obama: "It's a slim possibility for him to get the nomination, but then everybody else is doomed. Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose - because he's black and he's top of the ticket. We'd lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything. I'm a gambling man. I love Obama. But I'm not going to kill myself."
Ford later said he had been besieged by criticism and apologized.
The Wall Street Journal's Web site reports Obama had a history for voting "present" instead of "yes" or "no" as an Illinois state legislator — and lists some major issues on which Obama declined to take a side. Among them, votes on bills to prohibit partial birth abortions, lower the penalty for carrying concealed weapons,require prosecution for the firing of a gun at or near a school, protect a child that survived a failed abortion, protect the identity of sex-abuse victims, and prohibit strip clubs and similar establishments from being close to schools, churches, and daycares.
But in his book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama writes that as a legislator in the minority party, "You must vote 'yes' or 'no' on whatever bill comes up, with the knowledge that it's unlikely to be a compromise that either you or your supporters consider fair and or just."
A House subcommittee hearing on climate change and the warming of the planet was called off today — because of the snow and ice storm that hit Washington. In Saint Louis — a scheduled showing of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was canceled by Maryville University — because of the harsh winter weather.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.