Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Incoming Global Warming Czar Carol Browner was — until last week — listed as one of 14 leaders of a socialist group that advocates what's called "global governance" and says rich countries must shrink their economies to address climate change. The Washington Times reports Browner's name and biography were listed on the Web page for Socialist International .
Mr. Obama's transition team says Browner's membership in the organization is not a problem and that it brings experience in policymaking to her new role. But House Minority Leader John Boehner’s spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier asks, “Does she agree with the group's positions on global governance- that the United States should abdicate its international leadership to international organizations? Does she support its position that the international community should be the ultimate arbiter of climate change policy?"
Mr. Obama has said action on climate change will be a priority in his administration.
In the Service
The President-elect has also said he will push for more Americans to get involved in service opportunities. Colin Powell held a news conference last Friday touting the launch of the new Obama Web site — usaservice.org — which allows users to find and promote local service events by zip code. Powell even vouched for its usefulness. But ABCC News Reporter Teddy Davis said that when he entered his zip code, the results included an "Obama Celebration and Bush Shoe Toss." The event description read "Come celebrate with us. Say goodbye to old Georgie... Throw a shoe at a poster of Bush and win a free drink."
When the reporter inquired about the odd service opportunity to the Presidential Inauguration Committee, chief spokeswoman Linda Douglass told him "We are not in the business of regulating this. We're just in the business of giving people opportunities."
But a few minutes later, Douglass called back to say the "Bush Shoe Toss" was given the boot because it didn't appear to be connected to community service.
Baltimore Democrat Sheila Dixon is the city's first sitting mayor to be criminally indicted. Dixon was charged Friday with 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud, and misconduct in office.
She is accused of using gift cards donated for the needy to purchase electronics and other items for herself and her staff. The case stems in part from at least $15,000 in gifts she allegedly received from her former boyfriend — a prominent city developer — while she was city council president.
Ironically, Dixon helped write the city's ethics laws, which ban city employees from soliciting or accepting gifts from those who do business with the city. She maintains her innocence.
And finally, what one Midwestern criminal lacked in efficiency he made up for in civility. Police in Stow, Ohio say the bank robber put on his ski mask and then waited in line to speak to a teller. When the teller asked him to remove the mask before being served, he pulled what turned out to be a toy gun and demanded money. Police arrested the alleged robber minutes later after a brief car chase.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as anchor of FOX News Channel's (FNC) Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights 6-7PM/ET), the top-rated cable news program in its timeslot. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.