Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Slap on the Wrist?
Senate Democrats are under attack from the left for being too soft on Joe Lieberman. The Independent from Connecticut was allowed to retain his Senate Homeland Security Committee chairmanship Tuesday — despite his support for Senator John McCain during the presidential campaign. Lieberman was stripped of his less-coveted spot on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Markos Moulitsas on the liberal Daily Kos Web site says Lieberman, "wasn't sanctioned. And Senate Democrats trying to make that claim are dishonestly trying to cover up the extent of their betrayal of the American people's vote for change."
Matt Stoller on the OpenLeft Web site says the action, "wasn't a punishment; it was a pardon."
Meanwhile, Lieberman tells The Politico newspaper that he relinquished his spot on the committee, "in the spirit of cooperation" and "I don't view it as a sanction."
But a senior Democratic aide says, "it's a sanction. Someone who serves on a committee for 20 years just doesn't drop it in the spirit of cooperation."
Talk of the Town
Despite concerns on the right about the re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine to stifle talk radio — there seems to be little appetite for such a move. However, there is alarm over something called "localism." The Federal Communications Commission Web site says, "Promoting localism is a key goal of the commission's media ownership rules."
But the Canada Free Press, for example, calls it "the emerging threat to conservative talk radio."
The FCC requires stations to serve the interests of their local communities in order to keep their broadcast licenses. Some view that as a threat to nationally syndicated talk shows.
In September of 2007 — then-senator Barack Obama wrote a letter to the FCC promoting localism and media diversity. Jim Boulet Jr., on the conservative American thinker Web site says: "Obama needs only three votes from the five-member FCC to define localism in such a way that no radio station would dare air any syndicated conservative programming."
There are concerns that President-elect Obama's inauguration could leave taxpayers here in cash-strapped Washington, D.C. stuck with a huge bill. The Washington Examiner reports the price tag is expected to surpass the $15 million given to the district each year to defray the cost of federal events.
In 2005, the second inauguration of President Bush drew just 300,000 to Washington, but cost a whopping $17 million.
Now it is estimated that as many as four million people could flock to D.C., forcing major costs for security, logistics and other services.
The words of a former German army medic who died 23 years ago are backing up a long-suspected detail about Adolf Hitler. The London Sun reports Johan Jambor told a priest in the 1960's that Hitler had just one testicle.
There has been widespread speculation over that part of Hitler's anatomy and there is even a famous British ditty mocking his condition.
Jambor said he saved Hitler's life after he suffered a groin injury during World War I. He told the priest, "His abdomen and legs were all in blood. Hitler was injured... and lost one testicle. His first question to the doctor was: 'Will I be able to have children?'"
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.