Grapevine: Happy birthday Kim Jong Il

North Koreans celebrate deceased leader


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Southern Discomfort

An e-mail exchange shows tension at the Justice Department over how it deals with Mexico's drug problems.

The e-mail was released as part o f the congressional probe into Operation Fast and Furious. Then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke wrote to a colleague in New York saying -- quote -- "The chuckleheads at DOJ Public Affairs Office called my office to complain that I use the word 'war' about the current circumstances in Mexico. Sure, we can have a 'War on Obesity' but please don't refer to 30,000 people dying in Mexico at the hand of drug cartels as a 'war.'"

Today, the Public Affairs Office said it does not discourage the term "war" and pointed us to Attorney General Eric Holder's use of the term back in June of 2010.

Teacher Knows Best?

Officials in a North Carolina school district now say one of their teachers made a mistake in ordering a preschooler to eat a cafeteria lunch consisting of chicken nuggets instead of the box lunch from her mother.

The teacher said mom's lunch of a homemade turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, chips, and a box of apple juice did not meet government nutritional guidelines.

School officials say the teacher should have just handed the girl a carton of milk to round out the meal.

The Show Must Go On

Finally, North Koreans threw an impressive 70th birthday celebration for "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il this week, despite the fact that he died in December.

Thursday was declared a national holiday called the Day of the Shining Star.

There were synchronized swimmers, figure skaters and plenty of flower tributes.

The country also produced postage stamps, commemorative coins and gold medals.

You'll remember, after Kim's death state media reported a series of supernatural events including glowing mountains and a family of bears weeping along the road.