Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Man of the Hour
It was a good weekend for Michigan Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak. He worked out an 11th hour deal with the White House that restricted federal funding of abortion, thus enabling the pro-life Democrat to vote yes on the health care bill.
Two days earlier, Stupak's office announced more than $725,000 in federal grants would be coming to his district for maintenance and improvements at three airports. A press release from his office says the funding is from the Transportation Department and was awarded through competitive grants.
But some in the blogosphere question the timing of the funding, calling Stupak a "cheap date" for his yes vote. Stupak's office called the speculation, "grasping at straws."
Tightening the Belt
New York Democratic Governor David Paterson is facing a $9 billion budget deficit in his state and has proposed major cuts and tax increases. Now some state lawmakers are blasting the governor for including an $800,000 earmark in his budget proposal for conjugal visit trailers at a maximum security prison in Seneca County.
A local newspaper reports the money would be used for two double-wide trailers that would enable inmates to host family members. Republican State Senator Michael Nozzolio has called on Paterson to abandon the funding saying: "It is simply unconscionable that the governor would authorize such an outrageous expenditure of taxpayer dollars... when the people of New York can least afford it."
Rose by Any Other Name
You had better stop and smell the roses while you still can. Malaysian researchers say there is concern among environmentalists that flowers are losing their scent because of global warming and air pollution. They say scent tissues are being burned up due to climate change and flowers will need to be genetically modified to retain their smell in warmer climates.
Climate scientist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama-Huntsville rejects that theory saying: "It's more likely that they got some mushrooms mixed in with their flowers."
An advertising campaign by India's rail ministry left the country looking like it needed a geography lesson. A luxury train ad put the Indian capital of New Delhi in neighboring Pakistan and located another Indian city in the Bay of Bengal.
The ministry blamed the advertising agency and quickly blacklisted the company.
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt 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.