Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Despite living in this country illegally, President Obama's aunt will remain in the U.S. for at least another 10 months. Zeituni Onyango appealed her deportation order today. She lost her initial bid for asylum more than four years ago, but has continued to live in public housing in Boston.
The judge pushed back her case until next February because of his packed schedule. Onyango, who is a Kenyan citizen, wore a curly red wig, fur coat and sunglasses to the hearing. The president has said that laws covering her situation should be followed.
The head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops is the latest to criticize the University of Notre Dame for inviting pro-choice President Obama to speak at its commencement in May. Lifesitenews.com reports Chicago Archbishop, Cardinal Francis George, said during a conference Saturday that the school, "Brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic... it is clear that Notre Dame didn't understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation."
The cardinal urged Catholics to call, e-mail and write letters of disappointment to the university, but said he did not expect the invitation to be withdrawn.
Going Too Far?
Some rights groups are claiming President Obama has violated the First Amendment, and are demanding the White House rescind new rules that bar lobbyists from calling or meeting with government employees when trying to tap stimulus money.
The Washington Times reports on the unusual group getting together on this issue; The American Civil Liberties Union, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the American League of Lobbyists all say in a joint statement that the rules are unfair: "Banning lobbyists — often people with experience and subject matter expertise... actually may inhibit the speedy and responsible expenditure of funds on worthy projects and applicants."
Lobbyists cannot discuss specific projects with administration officials under the new rules, but can submit their thoughts in writing. A White House spokesman says the administration stands by its decision: "The goal is full transparency. that's entirely consistent with the First Amendment."
And finally, a glowing first-hand account by the reigning Miss Universe on her visit to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has been removed from her blog. Venezuela's Diana Mendoza described her trip as an "incredible experience" adding: "I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful. We visited the detainees' camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. it was very interesting."
The detention center has drawn condemnation from around the world, so naturally her comments sparked debate. The Miss Universe Organization has released a statement defending the visit.
— 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.