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Special Report

Obama's Aunt Thanks Former President Bush

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Family Ties

President Obama's aunt says she is troubled that her immigration problems have made her a political liability for her nephew.

Zeituni Onyango is the half-sister of the president's late father. She tells the Associated Press she has not been able to contact President Obama since it became public that she is living in this country illegally: "Before, we were family. But right now, there is a lot of politics."

Onyango says she has exiled herself from the first family since attending the Inauguration and that the Obamas have not reached out to her while she continues to live in public housing in Boston. Her appeal for asylum is still ongoing.

Onyango also says she'd like to thank Former President Bush for a directive that required high-level approval to arrest fugitive immigrants: "I loved President Bush. He is my number one man in my life because he helped me when I really needed that help."

On the House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent roughly $30,000 on food and beverage this last quarter and almost $3,000 on flowers. Minority Leader John Boehner racked up more than $24,000 in catering costs and Majority Whip James Clyburn spent about $260 on doughnuts.

Those are just some of the things POLITICO found in nearly 3,400 pages of congressional expenditures made between July and September. They have been posted online for the first time at the speaker's request. Pelosi touts the move as expanding accountability to taxpayers and the press.

Also of note: Some lawmakers chose to return extra money. Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus and Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz both gave back unused office funds.

Wiseguy

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly threatening some "Sopranos"-style street justice for people who write books or make films about the mafia, saying they give his country a bad rap: "If I found out who is the maker of [a mafia-themed TV series] and who has written books on the mafia — I swear that I will strangle them."

Berlusconi says news reports suggesting his involvement in mob-style bombings in the 1990s are unfounded and defamatory.

Fox News Channel's Megan Dumpe Kenworthy contributed to this report.