Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Connecticut Independent Senator Joe Lieberman is facing mounting criticism over his reluctance to support the emerging health care reform bill in the Senate.
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes Lieberman "seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score." Klein referenced a two-year-old think tank paper that estimated 137,000 people died between 2000 and 2006 because they lacked health insurance.
The left's criticism is even extending to Senator Lieberman's wife. Liberal Web site Firedoglake.com is urging the cancer fighting group, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to fire Hadassah Lieberman as its global ambassador, in part because of her husband's recent comments about health care reform.
The organization released a statement calling Mrs. Lieberman a valued ambassador, saying they will continue to work together.
On the Way Out
More than $43 million in federal stimulus money designed to help save or create jobs was spent on salaries and benefits for departing employees at Iowa's three state universities.
The Des Moines Register reports the University of Iowa directed almost $33.5 million to employees taking early retirement or otherwise leaving the school. Iowa State used almost $6 million and the University of Northern Iowa spent a little over $3.5 million on outgoing employees.
University officials defended using stimulus money to pay exiting workers, saying it was wisely spent on temporary costs, rather than programs that would have to be funded or cut in the future.
After reviewing recovery.gov, the government Web site that tracks stimulus spending, it's not clear how many — if any — jobs were "saved or created" from this expenditure.
I Want You to Pay Up!
Federal workers could give Uncle Sam a big boost this Christmas by ponying up billions in unpaid taxes. A Washington D.C. radio station reports federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes that were not paid in 2008.
The agency with the most tax delinquents was the postal service, with employees owing almost $300 million.
Other agencies on the list: the Executive Office of the President, which includes the White House, both chambers of Congress and the U.S. Tax Court.
— Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe 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.