Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke arrived in Pakistan Monday for talks with government and civil leaders. Holbrooke is known around Washington as a man with a huge portfolio and a comparable ego — something even his new boss acknowledges.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked last week by Jodi Kantor of The New York Times how she could manage Holbrooke — given his reputation as "overbearing." Clinton's diplomatic response:
"Gee, I'd never heard that he could be any of those things. (Laughter) ... Obviously, you know, like any, you know, really focused and passionate person, occasionally he has to be, you know, brought down to earth and reined in so that he, you know, doesn't levitate or, you know, levitate the rest of us."
Not So Free Speech
The leader of the opposition political party in the Netherlands is being prosecuted by the government for insulting Muslims.
Geert Wilders is charged with inciting hatred and discrimination. Wilders advocates banning the Koran, which he calls "the Islamic 'Mein Kampf'" — referring to Adolf Hitler's political manifesto.
The Washington Times reports Wilders produced a documentary last year juxtaposing verses from the Koran with scenes of violence from Islamic militants.
Last month, the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution that would make this kind of prosecution commonplace. The draft urges U.N. members to take action against what it calls "defamation of religion" and "incitement to religious hatred."
An Arizona rancher, whose property is described as the avenue of choice for illegal immigrants coming into the U.S., is being sued by some illegals he detained at gunpoint.
Roger Barnett is accused of violating the immigrants' civil rights and inflicting emotional distress. Barnett stopped a group of immigrants five years ago and held them for authorities. He claims to have turned in thousands of illegals since 1998. He says he started doing that because the immigrants tore up his land, killed his livestock and vandalized his property.
The lawsuit is seeking $32 million in damages from Barnett.
There have been some court rulings in Europe that you might find interesting.
The Daily Mail reports a man in East London who refused to pay four parking tickets successfully sued police, claiming emotional distress was inflicted when the city sent someone to collect the fines. So when the cops didn't pay their damages, he sent bailiffs to the precinct to seize the cops' computers. The police quickly paid up and eventually won on appeal.
And a Swedish newspaper reports that a suspected drunk driver claimed upon being stopped by police that his car had actually been driven by a Swedish cartoon character named "Skybert" — who of course is the secret friend of the wildly popular character named Alfie Atkins.
He won. And now he's suing for loss of income during the six months his drivers license was suspended.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier is the Chief Political Anchor of Fox News Channel, and the Anchor & Executive Editor of "Special Report with Bret Baier.” His book, "Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission," (William Morrow) is on sale now.