Presidential March Madness

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

March Madness

White House press secretary Jay Carney defended President Obama's decision to fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket even while the situations in Japan, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen escalate. Carney told reporters -- quote -- "There are crises all the time for every president... I do think it was appropriate."

Meanwhile, the president is being slammed for the picks themselves. He chose all number one seeds including Duke, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Ohio State to win each of the four regions.

ESPN's Michael Wilbon dished out the ultimate insult for a Democrat, calling the president's picks "conservative." And colleague Tony Kornheiser smirked -- quote -- "That's so safe, it's Republican. Wasn't his slogan 'change?'"

Controversial Remark

Kansas Republican state lawmaker Virgil Peck has apologized but refused to resign over a remark earlier this week in which he suggested illegal immigrants should be shot.

During a committee meeting on whether the states should try to control the wild hog population by using gunmen in helicopters Peck said --quote -- "If shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem."

The comment garnered bipartisan outrage. Peck later issued an apology saying it was a regrettable joke.

Point of View

And finally, the ladies of "The View" were discussing comedian Gilbert Gottfried's firing after making jokes about the disaster in Japan, when co-host Joy Behar made what some are calling an inappropriate comparison.

Behar said -- quote -- "Maybe people who just need relief from the terror of all of it... I'm sure people in concentration camps made jokes about each other, about the Nazis, about their situation."

The Anti-Defamation League responded, saying --quote -- "The comparison between jokes about the Japan tsunami to what was going on in concentration camps during the Holocaust is inappropriate and hideous. This was a natural disaster, not a Holocaust."