Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
From Russia With Love?
The day before President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, a mysterious spiral of light could be seen in the sky. Now the Norwegians say the light display is believed to have come from a failed Russian test-firing of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
Authorities say the missile trail lit up the sky and could be seen all across Norway the day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Meanwhile, American country singer Toby Keith defended his support for the troop surge in Afghanistan before his performance at the peace prize concert in Oslo. Norwegian politicians and a former Nobel committee member criticized the decision to invite an artist known for singing songs about war at a concert promoting peace.
And even though President Obama himself didn't attend that concert, or many of the other Nobel events, a replacement was found. A cardboard cutout version of the American leader was seen on stage during a charity benefit concert Thursday.
Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus is playing defense after a string of reports regarding his former state director and current live-in girlfriend Melodee Hanes. A Montana newspaper reports Hanes met with her boss's divorce attorney at least twice to talk about the Baucus' divorce, eight months before the senator and his wife separated.
Also Politico reports Baucus gave Hanes a $14,000 raise last year and took her on a government-funded trip to Asia and the Middle East. The Senate Finance Committee chairman has acknowledged he was in a relationship with Hanes when he nominated her to be Montana's U.S. attorney. Hanes withdrew her nomination for that post and now works at the Justice Department.
Baucus' office says Hanes met with the divorce lawyer in an official capacity and that the raise was in line with other staff raises at the time.
And now a new segment called "Friday Follow," we'll update some stories we've been tracking.
First, the Senate Ethics Committee has started handing out subpoenas in its investigation into Nevada Republican John Ensign. The committee is looking into Ensign's dealings with his former mistress, her husband and his lobbying work.
Next, the wife of South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford says she is filing for divorce. Jenny Sanford's announcement comes months after the governor's tearful confession of an affair with a woman in Argentina.
And now the Richmond, Virginia-area homeowners association threatening to sue a 90-year-old Medal of Honor recipient over his 21-foot flagpole, has backed down for now, withdrawing the threat of legal action.
Finally, court documents say White House party crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi tried to pay off a $2,000 landscaping debt with an expensive designer watch that turned out to be broken — a fake — and worth only about a $100. The account was ultimately settled with a bank check.
— Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as anchor of FOX News Channel's (FNC) Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights 6-7PM/ET), the top-rated cable news program in its timeslot. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.