Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Many Republicans have questioned the short-term benefit of the president's $787 billion economic stimulus package. They point to a Congressional Budget Office report which said much of the money would not help the economy right away, because it would be spent later.
Well The New York Times reports the federal government has paid out less than six percent of the stimulus in the first three months. It says a number of states and cities are complaining the money is not coming quickly enough.
But Vice President Biden says: "We're 85 days into a two-year program here — we're trying to get the money out as quickly as we can, but not too quickly, so we don't end up really screwing up here."
Flight of Fancy
One stimulus project that is proceeding is a plan to repave the alternate runway at an airport named after embattled Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha.
The FAA was reviewing the project after it was reported that Murtha previously steered more than $150 million in federal funds to the airport, which has just six arriving and departing flights a day — all to and from Washington's Dulles Airport.
The Washington Post reports the FAA will go forward with the plan to use $800,000 in stimulus funds to improve the airport's backup runway.
By Any Means Necessary?
The Politico newspaper reports that Murtha's Republican challenger in 2008 says the congressman's chief of staff threatened to arrange a court-martial against him for engaging in politics while serving in the Armed Forces. Bill Russell, who plans to challenge Murtha again in 2010, says John Hugya said: "What are you going to do when we get the new secretary of the Army seated and have your ass recalled to active duty?"
Russell's commanding officer, Ret. Col. Gregory Ritch who is a former Army Reserve officer, says he overheard Hugya saying: "We're going to prosecute him."
A Murtha spokesman denies the allegations. Russell was on active duty for part of the campaign, but retired in June of 2008, and was no longer in the Army Reserves for the remainder of the race.
Living the Life
And British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says drastic steps are needed after a newspaper exposed lavish taxpayer-funded expenses by members of Parliament.
The Daily Telegraph revealed legislators were reimbursed for porn movies, chandeliers, housekeepers and swimming pool construction. One member used taxpayer money for horse manure, while another submitted a claim for cleaning the moat that circles his country home.
Brown has called for a reform to Britain's expense system and has announced an independent review.
— 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.