Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The staunch women's anti-war group Code Pink has advocated complete withdrawal of troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan. The group has organized countless protests and even one Code Pinker with blood-colored hands called then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice a war criminal during a congressional hearing in 2007.
But one report says the group is now rethinking its position on the Afghanistan war. The Christian Science Monitor reports that during a recent trip to Kabul, local Afghan women told Code Pinkers the situation is a lot more complicated than they think. Afghan member of Parliament and women’s activist Shinkai Karokhail told the group's founders: "In the current situation of terrorism, we cannot say troops should be withdrawn."
Those concerns convinced the founders that setting a deadline is not in Afghanistan's best interest. Medea Benjamin, Code Pink co-founder, said: "We would leave with the same parameters of an exit strategy but we might perhaps be more flexible about a timeline... So many people are saying that, 'If the U.S. troops left — the country would collapse. We'd go into a civil war.' A palpable sense of fear, that is making us start to reconsider that."
Windy City Woes
Some Chicago community leaders and parents are upset with the Obama administration for being excluded from a high profile meeting in their city to discuss escalating youth violence.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder met with city officials Wednesday. But Phillip Jackson, founder of a Chicago-based wducation reform organization, wants to know why he and his fellow community leaders were not invited: "They are meeting about us — without us."
Jackson also chided the president for his recent travel decisions to NBC Chicago: "President Obama fueled up Air Force One to fly to Copenhagen to try to win the Olympics. Why can't he fuel up a Greyhound bus and come here?"
Australian authorities are putting their foot down. In an effort to curb alcohol-related crime at one of the country's most popular racing events which began Thursday, spectators will now be limited to a measly 24 cans of beer per day. But if you're willing to switch to light beer, then you can legally consume 36 beers per day.
And for those who enjoy a nice glass of wine, they will have to make do with just over a gallon each day. Authorities are also warning attendees to drive safely.
They're so strict down under.
— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.