Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Remember a year ago when leaders of the new Democratic majority in the House pledged 5-day work weeks and an end to what incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the Tuesday-through-Thursday "drive-by Congress"? Those full work weeks did not regularly materialize this year and now The Politico reports they have been all but abandoned.
A 2008 calendar distributed to congressional offices shows only three 5-day weeks are scheduled next year. Four-day work weeks will be the norm instead.
Republicans say this is another broken promise. But a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the new calendar still calls for more days in session than during the last Republican-led Congress.
The United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia is hosting hundreds of journalists from all over the world. But U.N. officials rejected a credential request by the "Environment and Climate News" — which is published by the conservative Heartland Institute — and distributed to every elected official in the country.
The U.N. will only say that the publication did not meet its criteria for accreditation — after it sought advice from its New York office.
Heartland Institute spokesman Tom Swiss accuses the U.N. of rejecting applications from any media skeptical of man-made global warming dogma. He also tells FOX News that U.N. officials violated their own policy by giving a list of media requesting credentials to groups such as Greenpeace and the Union of Concerned Scientists — so they could send press releases espousing their points of view.
Watch Your Language
A few weeks ago we told you that an Australian company booking Santas for shopping centers told the men not to use "ho-ho-ho" because it could offend women — since "ho" is an American slang term for prostitute. Now it seems one rebellious Santa has been sacked.
Media reports say 70-year-old John Oakes got the heave-ho for "ho-ho-ho"-ing at a department store in the northeastern city of Cairns. He says the manager told him "ho-ho-ho" was not appropriate. He says she also said he was not supposed to sing Jingle Bells.
A spokesman for the store tells the London Daily Mail that Oakes was canned for, "his attitude." Says the sacked Santa, "they're trying to kill the spirit of Christmas."
Social Security records indicate an unprecedented drop-off in the number of parents who have named their daughters "Hillary" in the past two decades.
The name rose steadily beginning in the sixties and was the 131st most popular name in 1992 — the year Bill Clinton was elected president. But it fell what we are told is a record 295 places in 1994 and by 1998 it was down to 868th.
"Hillary" dropped off the top-one thousand list entirely in 2002 and currently sits at number 982.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.