Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Michigan Democrat John Conyers appears to be on President Obama's "naughty" list this year. The second longest-serving member of the House tells The Hill newspaper he received a call from the president several weeks ago expressing frustration with Conyers' criticism: "[Obama] called me and told me that he heard that I was demeaning him — and I had to explain to him that it wasn't anything personal — it was an honest difference on the issues. And he said, 'Well, let's talk about it.'"
Conyers was the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Obama during the campaign. But he hasn't been afraid to speak out against some of the president's decisions: "I've been saying I don't agree with him on Afghanistan — I think he screwed up on health care reform — on Guantanamo — and kicking [White House counsel Greg Craig] off."
White House health reform coordinator Nancy-Ann DeParle earned more than $6.6 million as a director for several health care firms, including some accused of wrongdoing.
A study at American University and a review by The Washington Times show the companies were targeted in government investigations or whistleblower lawsuits on suspicion of billing fraud or other legal problems. Five firms were accused of things such as overcharging Medicare and failing to warn patients of the dangers of their products.
Most of the companies DeParle worked for have a vested interest in health care reform being debated in Congress. DeParle's office says she has removed herself from corporate directorships and maintains there is no conflict of interest.
The American Physical Society is getting heat from many of its physicist members in the wake of the Climate-gate scandal. They say the society should rescind its 2007 statement that global warming represents a dire national emergency.
CBS News reports a letter is circulating asking the declaration be put on ice until an independent analysis of the science involved can be done. The pressure is coming from members who are squarely in the scientific mainstream. Some of the 230 or so signatories include 77 fellows of major scientific societies, 14 members of the national academies, one Nobel Laureate and a large number of published authors and researchers.
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt 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.