Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Timing Is Everything
Around the time U.S. stock markets plummeted last September, the Senate's number two Democrat sold more than $115,000 worth of stocks and mutual-fund shares.
Senator Dick Durbin's financial disclosure statements show that one day after he and fellow congressional leaders were urged by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to craft bank-bailout legislation, he sold almost$ 43,000 worth of mutual fund shares. He then bought a similar amount in Berkshire Hathaway stock. Altogether Durbin sold investments worth $116,000 in September.
The Illinois Democrat defended his actions insisting he didn't capitalize on anything he was told during those meetings, and that he had been moving money around in his retirement accounts for some time.
Talk show host, comedian, and occasional political commentator Bill Maher has joined the ranks of liberals who are complaining about the president's frequent public outings.
On his HBO show "Real Time," Maher even compared the leader of the free world to actress Lindsay Lohan: "Just like Lindsay, we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're going to actually do something… This is not getting the job done, and this is not what I voted for." Maher continued saying, "What (President Obama) needs in his personality is a little George Bush... What we need to do is marry the good ideas that Barack Obama has with a little bit of that Bush attitude and certitude."
Trash collectors in San Francisco will soon be on the lookout for violators who toss food scraps in with their regular trash or recycling. The city passed a mandatory composting law that now requires residents to separate into a third bin, everything from banana peels to coffee grounds.
A spokesman for the program,Sean Elsbernd, says if waste collectors notice residents not following the new rules, workers will leave a "love note" to get residents up to speed. Repeat offenders will face fines next year. But one supervisor who voted against the "over the top" measure, thinks mandatory composting stinks: "This is just going to aggravate and aggrieve homeowners who are doing their best."
And if you happen to be driving in Omsk, Russia, you might come across a famous face. Local officials in the Siberian town are using a cardboard cutout of actor Brad Pitt, dressed as a traffic cop, to slow speeders.
Officials say it's working, as star-struck drivers have been easing off the gas.
The creator of the program, Dmitry Ziryanov, says Pitt is "kind of like a colleague for us."
— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt 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.