Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The Senate has reportedly diverted to pet projects more than $2.5 billion intended to pay for fuel, ammunition, and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Independent research group the Center for Defense Information, says lawmakers added the earmarks while allocating $4 billion less than the administration requested for the current fiscal year. The organization says the money was taken from the Pentagon's "operations and maintenance" accounts.
Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn released a statement saying: "The earmarks funded in the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill raid these accounts... the Senate is putting favorable headlines back home above our men and women fighting on the front lines... it is a disgrace."
But during the debate, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, insisted: "The operation and maintenance title is fully funded to meet the department's needs. There is no shortage."
Not So Fast
The majority of the Nobel committee reportedly objected at first to the awarding of its Peace Prize to President Obama. Norway's top-selling daily newspaper, Verdens Gang, says three of the five members were initially against the idea, but were persuaded in favor of Mr. Obama by Committee Chairman and former Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland.
Members had concerns over whether the president had done enough to justify the award, and objections came from those who represented both the right and left-leaning political parties in Norway.
But in announcing the award last week, Jagland said, "the decision was unanimous."
After Senator John McCain's failed presidential bid last year, many in the mainstream media focused on the perceived infighting in the Republican camp over the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Anonymous McCain advisers were quoted as saying Palin was "a whack job" and a "diva."
The media also latched on to comments earlier this month from McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt, who said that Palin's candidacy could be "catastrophic" for Republicans in 2012.
Now Schmidt says selecting Palin was the right thing to do. He told an audience at the University of Arkansas: "I believe to this day that had she not been picked as a vice presidential candidate, we would have never been ahead, not for one second, not for one minute, not for one hour, not for one day."
— Fox News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) chief political anchor and anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier(weeknights at 6-7PM/ET), the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.