Published May 14, 2010
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are seeing red over trinkets promoting the 2010 Census that were made in China.
The Boston Herald reports Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch is asking for a congressional probe of the use of millions of taxpayer dollars to buy foreign-made census promotions: "It is deeply troubling that with 10 percent unemployment the U.S. Census Department, whose central responsibility is to locate Americans, could not locate an American company to provide its hats and T-shirts."
A census spokeswoman says the bureau purchased the items from American companies, but conceded that those firms may have bought materials from overseas providers. A bipartisan bill is circulating in the House that would block Chinese-made goods from U.S. government contracts.
Close to Home
President Obama's head of the Customs and Border Protection agency has his own immigration problem. Congressional Quarterly reports a Senate Finance Committee memo written by majority Democrats says Alan Bersin did not complete forms used to determine whether employees are eligible to work in the U.S. for any of the 10 people who worked for him since 1993.
Chairman Max Baucus called the omission incredible, and said Bersin's attitude seemed cavalier about the required paperwork.
And on the Friday Follow Up, remember the Iranian cleric who blamed earthquakes on provocatively-dressed women? He went a step further during Friday prayers, saying God may be holding off on natural disasters in the West in order to let people doom themselves to hell.
The cleric says: "Some ask why [more] earthquakes and storms don't occur in the Western world — which suffers from the slime of promiscuity... [God] allows them [to commit sins] so that they go to the bottom of hell."
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.