Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is firing back at a report his agency spent nearly $1.2 million in economic stimulus funds on a two-pound ham.
A number of federal contracts from the government's stimulus package were published on the Drudge Report Web site and cited as examples of wasteful spending. One contract was for "two-pound frozen ham sliced" from a Los Angeles company.
Vilsack released a statement saying, "the references to 'two-pound frozen ham sliced' are to the sizes of the packaging... the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191 million, at a cost of approximately a $1.50 per pound."
But that's not a great deal. The grocery store chain Food Lion is offering sliced ham this week for as little as 79-cents a pound in some states. And that's not wholesale.
The government also spent more than $1.5 million on mozzarella cheese and almost $17 million on canned pork. It is distributing the food to the needy through food banks and soup kitchens. Vilsack said the purchases will "provide a modest economic benefit."
Defense officials are hitting back at an Iraqi colonel who suggested U.S. forces in his country are holed up inside military bases.
Colonel Ali Fadhil, an Iraqi brigade commander, told the Associated Press that since the June 30 pullback of troops from urban areas, American forces are "more passive than before... they used to have many patrols, but now they cannot. The American soldiers are in prison-like bases as if they are under house arrest."
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, a senior defense official tells FOX, "I would consider this statement grandstanding."
And the top commander on the ground, General Ray Odierno says "we have been able to continue to do exactly what we have expected under the agreement."
The pullback is part of the Strategic Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq that requires American forces to be out of the country by the end of 2011.
At Arm's Length
Rock-n-roll icon Bono told the BBC how he snubbed President George W. Bush at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast and was congratulated for it by then-Senator Barack Obama. The U2 front man admitted that he did not feel like hugging Bush, because of their political disagreements.
So he dodged President Bush's outstretched arms by moving behind a podium and instead shook his hand. Bono said during the interview, that at the time no one noticed except for one eagle-eyed senator: "When I sat down I was sitting beside Senator Obama, soon to be president, and he just said, 'Nice work with the hug dodge.'"
— 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.