Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The historic inauguration of President Obama brought leaders together from both sides of the aisle — all reflecting on poignant moments in a spirit of bipartisanship. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina said the day was "high drama and political theater at its best. And if you're not proud to be an American today — you got a problem."
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said during Mr. Obama's address, “I was sitting between two of the Republican leaders of the Senate, Senator Kyl and Senator Alexander. And you could see them nodding their heads."
But, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a reporter one of her favorite moments was watching former President Bush exit Washington.
“I felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head."
Not For Sale
Democratic Congressman Robert Brady of Pennsylvania is forbidding the Capitol Visitor Center from selling Chinese-made products. The Politico newspaper reports that means more than $100,000 in souvenirs are stuck in storage with nowhere to go. The House Administration Committee chairman is a longtime critic of China and feels the souvenirs should be American-made.
“The idea that the Capitol's main gift shop could be selling a model of our statue of freedom that is manufactured in China does a disservice to the millions of American workers who are losing their jobs and the ability to support their families."
Brady says his committee is working with the visitor center to return the rejected trinkets to the manufacturer and recover their full cost.
A federal judge has ruled that an Illinois law requiring a moment of silence in public schools is unconstitutional. The Illinois silent reflection and student prayer act allows students to reflect on the day's activities — rather than pray — if that is their choice. But U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman says "the statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion."
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by an outspoken atheist talk show host. But State Senator Kimberly Lightford (a Democrat representing Chicago) — who sponsored the legislation hopes the Illinois attorney general will appeal.
“I still believe that children should have a moment of silence at the beginning of the school day."
And finally, Former French President Jacques Chirac was hospitalized Wednesday after being mauled by his clinically-depressed Maltese-poodle.
French VSD Magazine reports that Chirac’s dog — named Sumo — has been suffering from violent fits and is being treated with anti-depressants. The former president's wife says, "we were already aware the animal was unpredictable... my husband was bitten quite badly, but he is certain to make a full recovery over the coming weeks.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) chief political anchor and anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier(weeknights at 6-7PM/ET), the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.